Ken Paxton

Texas Leads 14-State Coalition Asking U.S. Supreme Court to Uphold Arizona’s Driver’s License Policy on Undocumented Aliens

Monday, May 1, 2017 – Austin

Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced that Texas and 13 other states filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court to uphold Arizona’s right to deny driver’s licenses to undocumented aliens.

Rulings by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals force Arizona to issue driver’s licenses to people granted federal work permits through the Obama-era’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In February, six dissenting judges on the full 9th Circuit wrote that the court’s decision against Arizona’s driver’s license policy creates “a world where the president really can pre-empt state laws with the stroke of a pen.”

“We stand with Arizona against illegal federal overreach by the former president, who bypassed Congress to enact an immigration program he did not have the authority to create,” Attorney General Paxton said. “We’re hopeful the U.S. Supreme Court will review the case and conclude that states have the right to decide who gets a driver’s license.”

Texas has a proven track record in protecting limited government by taking on the abuse of federal power. When former President Obama unilaterally sought to grant “lawful presence” to more than four million unauthorized aliens, Texas led a 26-state coalition all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the president’s unlawful immigration plan, known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA).

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed legal briefs last March asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the 9th Circuit’s rulings on DACA. In 2014, the high court refused to intervene in the case.

Joining Texas on the cert petition are Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant.

To view a copy of the cert petition, click here