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Case Name Arizona Dream Act Coalition v. Brewer IM-AZ-0019
Docket / Court 2:12-cv-02546 ( D. Ariz. )
State/Territory Arizona
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Public Benefits / Government Services
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project
ACLU National (all projects)
MALDEF
National Immigration Law Center
Case Summary
Plaintiffs--young undocumented immigrants residing in Arizona--filed suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Declaratory Judgment Act against the State of Arizona and the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona on Nov. 29, 2012. Represented by the ACLU ... read more >
Plaintiffs--young undocumented immigrants residing in Arizona--filed suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Declaratory Judgment Act against the State of Arizona and the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona on Nov. 29, 2012. Represented by the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, plaintiffs claimed that the state was invalidly denying them drivers' licenses, despite their eligibility under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Plaintiffs claimed that the Arizona Executive Order that denied them drivers' licenses violated both the Supremacy Clause and the Equal Protection Clause; they sought a declaration that the state action was invalid, and an injunction providing them drivers' licenses.

Plaintiffs also petitioned for certification of a class in their complaint, including all young immigrants residing in Arizona who had been granted deferred action, or would be, pursuant to the DACA program and had (or would have) employment authorization documents (EADs) and Social Security Numbers, who were being denied drivers' licenses by the Arizona Motor Vehicles Division.

On Dec. 14, 2012, plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction. On Jan. 9, 2013, defendants moved to dismiss, or in the alternative, for summary judgment. The District Court (Judge David Campbell) heard oral arguments for both motions on Mar. 22, 2013, and issued an order on May 16, 2013. Judge Campbell denied plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction on the grounds that plaintiffs were unlikely to succeed on the merits of their Supremacy Clause claim, and that, although plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits of their Equal Protection claim, they did not show the likelihood of irreparable injury for the claim. Judge Campbell accordingly granted defendants' motion to dismiss in part as to the Supremacy Clause claim, and denied in part as to the Equal Protection claim. 945 F.Supp.2d 1049 (D. Ariz. May 16, 2013). Plaintiffs filed an interlocutory appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on June 17, 2013.

Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on Sept. 17, 2013, adding two individual plaintiffs and removing the class action claims. In all other respects, the amended complaint essentially reiterated the original complaint, alleging violations of the Supremacy Clause and the Equal Protection Clause.

On Mar. 26, 2013, Judge Campbell issued an order dismissing one of the individual plaintiffs without prejudice. The case then spent a long time in discovery. On Apr. 30, 2014, the plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment on the Equal Protection claim, and for a permanent injunction.

On July 7, 2014, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Judge Harry Pregerson) issued an opinion as to the interlocutory appeal, granting plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction. The Court reversed the District Court's decision and remanded the case with instructions to enter a preliminary injunction, prohibiting defendants from enforcing any policy by which the Arizona Department of Transportation refused to accept plaintiffs' EADs, issued under DACA, as proof that plaintiffs were authorized under federal law to be present in the United States. 757 F.3d 1053 (9th Cir. 2014). On Nov. 24, 2014, the Ninth Circuit denied the state's petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc, and on Dec. 9, 2014 denied a stay pending the state's petition to the Supreme Court for certiorari review.

On Dec. 11, 2014, the state sought a stay from the Supreme Court, pending its cert. petition; the Court rejected that stay on Dec. 17, in an order issued without opinion. Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito noted that they would grant the stay.

Following this, District Judge Campbell issued a preliminary injunction on Dec. 18, 2014. He then held a Jan. 7, 2015 hearing on plaintiffs' motion for a permanent injunction and summary judgment and on defendants' motion for summary judgment.

On Jan. 22, 2015 Judge Campbell granted plaintiffs' motion and denied defendants'. The final judgment permanently enjoined defendants from refusing to issue drivers' licenses to DACA recipients by rejecting their EADs as proof of their authorization under federal law to be present in the United States. In his order, Judge Campbell held that for purposes of Equal Protection, defendants had classified DACA recipients differently from other holders of EADs who could obtain drivers' licenses; and that such differential treatment of similarly-situated persons did not survive rational-basis review. Plaintiffs had suffered irreparable harm by losing job opportunities because they lacked drivers' licenses. 81 F.Supp.3d 795 (D. Ariz. Jan. 22, 2015).

Defendants then appealed to the Ninth Circuit. After oral argument on July 16, 2015, the panel (Circuit Judges Pregerson, Berzon, and Christen) asked the parties for further briefing on issues of preemption, the separation of powers doctrine, and the Take Care Clause. The United States, at the Court's invitation, submitted an amicus brief in support of plaintiffs on Aug. 28, 2015.

The Ninth Circuit then issued an opinion on Apr. 5, 2016, affirming the District Court's order. The Ninth Circuit agreed with the District Court's Equal Protection holding. However, the Ninth Circuit chose to use the constitutional avoidance principle to reach the same result without finding a constitutional violation. The court thus held that defendants' classification policy for issuing drivers' licenses violated the INA by using an independent definition of "authorized presence," and was thus preempted by exclusive federal authority to classify noncitizens. 818 F.3d 901 (9th Cir. 2016).

Defendants requested an en banc rehearing, but the Court denied this request in a Feb. 2, 2017 order (Circuit Judges Kozinski and others dissenting). 855 F.3d 957 (9th Cir. 2017).

Defendants then requested a stay while they petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for cert. The Ninth Circuit granted a stay on Feb. 13, 2017, and defendants filed the petition on Mar. 29, 2017.

In the interim, on Sept. 5, 2017, the Trump administration announced plans to rescind DACA. However, a district court in Regents of the University of California enjoined this move on Jan. 9, 2018, and the government sought cert from the U.S. Supreme Court. On Jan. 22, 2018, in this case, defendants notified the U.S. Supreme Court of the relation between the two cert petitions. On Feb. 14, 2018 in the Supreme Court, the U.S. filed an amicus brief.

However, on Mar. 19, the Supreme Court denied cert in this case.

The case is still ongoing.

Dan Osher - 03/31/2013
Zhandos Kuderin - 07/07/2014
Ava Morgenstern - 03/19/2018


compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Benefit Source
DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Supremacy Clause
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Transportation
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
General
Disparate Treatment
Drivers Licenses
Immigration/Border
Constitutional rights
Status/Classification
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Undocumented immigrants - state and local regulation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Defendant(s) State of Arizona
Plaintiff Description Several young immigrants residing in Arizona who had been granted deferred action, or would be, pursuant to the DACA program, and had (or would have) employment authorization and a Social Security Number, who were denied a driver's license by the Arizona Motor Vehicles Division.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project
ACLU National (all projects)
MALDEF
National Immigration Law Center
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 2014 - n/a
Filing Year 2012
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Arizona Dream Act Coalition, et al v. Brewer
www.aclu.org
Date: Apr. 5, 2016
By: American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Supreme Court Refuses to Allow Arizona to Deny Drivers' Licenses to Immigrant Youth
www.maldef.org
Date: Dec. 17, 2014
By: MALDEF
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:12-cv-2546 (D. Ariz.)
IM-AZ-0019-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/07/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief: Class Action
IM-AZ-0019-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/29/2012
Source: ACLU
Memorandum in Support for Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 30]
IM-AZ-0019-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/14/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and in the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF# 58]
IM-AZ-0019-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/09/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Denying Motion for Preliminary Injunction] [ECF# 114] (945 F.Supp.2d 1049) (D. Ariz.)
IM-AZ-0019-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 05/16/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [Amended] [ECF# 173]
IM-AZ-0019-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/17/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Re: Arizona DREAM Act Coalition v. Brewer, No. 13-16248 [Ct. of App. ECF# BL-43]
IM-AZ-0019-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/22/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion [USCA Reversing and Remanding Case] [Ct. of App. ECF# 62-1] (757 F.3d 1053)
IM-AZ-0019-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/07/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Ct. of App. ECF# BL-43]
IM-AZ-0019-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/18/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order in Pending Case (135 S.Ct. 889 / 190 L.Ed.2d 717)
IM-AZ-0019-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | External Link | Detail
Date: 12/17/2014
Source: Supreme Court website
Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 295] (D. Ariz.)
IM-AZ-0019-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/18/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order and Permanent Injunction [ECF# 306] (81 F.Supp.3d 795) (D. Ariz.)
IM-AZ-0019-0009.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 01/22/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
United States' Brief As Amicus Curiae In Support of Appellees [Ct. of App. ECF# BL-62]
IM-AZ-0019-0014.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/28/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion [Ct. of App. ECF# BL-71] (818 F.3d 901)
IM-AZ-0019-0013.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 04/05/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Ct. of App. ECF# BL-89] (855 F.3d 957)
IM-AZ-0019-0012.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 02/02/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
[Letter by Counsel for the Petitioners] [ECF# BL-11]
IM-AZ-0019-0015.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/22/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Brief for the United States as Amicus Curiae [ECF# BL-13]
IM-AZ-0019-0016.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/14/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Berzon, Marsha Siegel (Ninth Circuit)
IM-AZ-0019-0004 | IM-AZ-0019-0011
Campbell, David G. (D. Ariz.)
IM-AZ-0019-0005 | IM-AZ-0019-0008 | IM-AZ-0019-0009 | IM-AZ-0019-9000
Christen, Morgan (Ninth Circuit)
IM-AZ-0019-0004 | IM-AZ-0019-0011
Kozinski, Alex (Ninth Circuit)
IM-AZ-0019-0012
Pregerson, Harry (Ninth Circuit, C.D. Cal.)
IM-AZ-0019-0004 | IM-AZ-0019-0011 | IM-AZ-0019-0013
Plaintiff's Lawyers Broder, Tanya (California)
IM-AZ-0019-0001 | IM-AZ-0019-9000
Castillo, Jorge Martin (California)
IM-AZ-0019-9000
Cheer, Shiu-Ming (California)
IM-AZ-0019-0001 | IM-AZ-0019-9000
Danjuma, R. Orion (California)
IM-AZ-0019-0001 | IM-AZ-0019-9000
Draye, Dominic Emil (Arizona)
IM-AZ-0019-0015
Espiritu, Nicholas David (California)
IM-AZ-0019-0001 | IM-AZ-0019-0002 | IM-AZ-0019-0010 | IM-AZ-0019-9000
Flood, Kelly Joyce (Arizona)
IM-AZ-0019-0001 | IM-AZ-0019-9000
Gelernt, Lee (New York)
IM-AZ-0019-0001 | IM-AZ-0019-9000
Harper, Marty (Arizona)
IM-AZ-0019-0001 | IM-AZ-0019-0002 | IM-AZ-0019-9000
Irvine, Thomas K. (Arizona)
IM-AZ-0019-0001 | IM-AZ-0019-9000
Jacob, Andrew S. (Arizona)
IM-AZ-0019-0001 | IM-AZ-0019-9000
Joaquin, Linton (California)
IM-AZ-0019-0001 | IM-AZ-0019-0002 | IM-AZ-0019-9000
Lyall, James Duff (Arizona)
IM-AZ-0019-0001 | IM-AZ-0019-9000
Martinez−Olguin, Araceli (California)
IM-AZ-0019-9000
Newell, Jennifer Chang (California)
IM-AZ-0019-0001 | IM-AZ-0019-0002 | IM-AZ-0019-0006 | IM-AZ-0019-9000
Pochoda, Daniel Joseph (Arizona)
IM-AZ-0019-0001 | IM-AZ-0019-0002 | IM-AZ-0019-0006 | IM-AZ-0019-9000
Polansky, Jessica E. (New York)
IM-AZ-0019-9000
Preciado, Nora (California)
IM-AZ-0019-9000
Sun, Christine Patricia (California)
IM-AZ-0019-9000
Tan, Michael K. T. (New York)
IM-AZ-0019-0001 | IM-AZ-0019-9000
Tumlin, Karen C. (California)
IM-AZ-0019-0001 | IM-AZ-0019-0006 | IM-AZ-0019-9000
Viramontes, Victor (California)
IM-AZ-0019-0001 | IM-AZ-0019-0006 | IM-AZ-0019-9000
Wang, Cecillia D (California)
IM-AZ-0019-0001 | IM-AZ-0019-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Berg, Timothy J (Arizona)
IM-AZ-0019-0003 | IM-AZ-0019-9000
Gomez, Ashley Morgan (Arizona)
IM-AZ-0019-9000
Hood, Sean Thomas (Arizona)
IM-AZ-0019-0003 | IM-AZ-0019-9000
Lopez, John R. VI (Arizona)
IM-AZ-0019-9000
Northup, Doug C (Arizona)
IM-AZ-0019-0003 | IM-AZ-0019-9000
Sciarrotta, Joseph Jr. (Arizona)
IM-AZ-0019-0003 | IM-AZ-0019-9000
Other Lawyers Brinkmann, Beth S (District of Columbia)
IM-AZ-0019-0014
Ellis, Jonathan Y. (District of Columbia)
IM-AZ-0019-0016
Francisco, Noel (District of Columbia)
IM-AZ-0019-0016
Leonardo, John S. (District of Columbia)
IM-AZ-0019-0014
McIntosh, Scott R. (District of Columbia)
IM-AZ-0019-0014 | IM-AZ-0019-0016
Mizer, Benjamin C. (District of Columbia)
IM-AZ-0019-0014
Powell, Lindsey (District of Columbia)
IM-AZ-0019-0014 | IM-AZ-0019-0016
Readler, Chad A. (District of Columbia)
IM-AZ-0019-0016
Wall, Jeffrey B. (District of Columbia)
IM-AZ-0019-0016

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