The legal battle between the Erie County Clerk's Office and New York state over granting driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants continues on.
"We're appealing the whole decision from the judge,” said Erie County Clerk (D) Mickey Kearns. “Everything, we're appealing."
Last week, a federal judge determined County Clerk Mickey Kearns did not have standing to challenge the state's Green Light Law. After consulting with attorneys, Kearns says he filed a notice of appeal Wednesday.
"It's a high standard. We know that so you're right, the second circuit, it's a high standard,” Kearns said. “They would have to reverse the Western District circuit."
But Kearns says he wants his day and court and for a judge to hopefully rule on the law's constitutionality. In the meantime, his office is preparing for it to go into effect on December 14.
"We did ask for 11 part time staff and the reason why we ask for that is because, as you know, many of these jobs are very technical," he said.
The clerk wants roughly $670,000 from the County Legislature to hire experts to interpret foreign documents. The request seems a bit odd as he says he won't allow his staff to implement the new law, regardless of how litigation plays out.
"If we don't have to process those licenses (then) we don't need that money but I wanted, as they're budgeting overall, I want them to at least have a number in their mind on what the impacts could be of this law," Kearns said.Kearns points out that the governor still has the power to remove him from office. There's been no indication that will happen, but he says it's his responsibility to prepare for all possibilities."Just to be clear though, this budget request is essentially a contingency for your removal from office," Kearns said. "Correct, correct."