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 November 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 a driver's license, despite their eligibility under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Plaintiffs claimed that the Arizona Executive Order that denies them drivers license is in violation of 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 have been granted deferred action, or will be, pursuant to DACA program and have (or will have) employment authorization and a Social Security Number who are being denied a driver's license by the Arizona Motor Vehicles Division. The certification is still pending.
On December 14, 2012, Plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction. On January 9, 2013, Defendants moved to dismiss, or in the alternative, for summary judgment. The District Court (Judge David Campell) heard oral arguments for both motions on March 22, 2013, and issued an order on May 16, 2013. The Court (Judge David Campbell) denied the motion for preliminary injunction on the grounds that the plaintiffs were unlikely to succeed on the merits of their Supremacy Clause claim, and that, although the 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. 945 F.Supp.2d 1049. The Court accordingly granted the defendants' motion to dismiss in part as to the Supremacy Clause claim, and denied in part as to the Equal Protection claim. The plaintiffs filed an interlocutory appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on June 17, 2013.
The plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on September 17, 2013, adding two individual plaintiffs and removing the class action claims. In all other respects, the amended complaint essentially reiterates the original complaint, alleging violations of the Supremacy Clause and the Equal Protections Clause.
On March 26, 2013, the Court (Judge David Campbell) issued an order dismissing one of the individual plaintiffs without prejudice. The case then spent a long time in discovery. On April 30, 2014, the plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment on the Equal Protection claim, and for permanent injunction.
On July 7, 2014, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Judge Harry Pregerson) issued an opinion as to the interlocutory appeal, granting the 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 plaintiff's Employment Authorization Documents, issued under DACA, as proof that the plaintiffs were authorized under federal law to be present in the US. Arizona Dream Act Coalition v. Brewer, 757 F.3d 1053 (9th Cir. 2014). The 9th Circuit on November 24, 2014 denied the state's petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc, and on December 9, 2014 denied a stay pending the state's petition to the Supreme Court for certiorari review.
On December 11, the state sought a stay from the Supreme Court, pending its cert. petition; the Court rejected that stay on December 17, in an order issued without opinion. Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito noted that they would grant the stay.
The case is still ongoing. Dan Osher - 03/31/2013
Zhandos Kuderin - 07/07/2014