CASA wants to overturn in-state tuition petition
** Updated to includes grounds for lawsuit
CASA de Maryland wants a court to overturn the petition drive that suspended the Maryland Dream Act, and plans to sue the Maryland State Board of Elections, a spokeswoman said. Their hope is to reinstate the controversial law and prevent it from going to referendum in 2012.
Joe Sandler, an attorney hired by Casa, said at a news conference this morning that the petitions generated by the website MDPetitions.com should not count because the computer fills out some voter information. He also says that the Maryland Dream Act should be viewed as an appropriation, a type of law that can not be petitioned to ballot.
More than 132,000 Marylanders signed a petition this summer to reject a state law allowing illegal immigrants tuition discounts at state colleges and universities -- nearly double the number needed to trigger a referendum. But CASA funded lawyers have spent the past few weeks poring over the petitions looking for flaws.
There's been no public polling on the issue, but my Sun colleague Julie Bykowicz wrote in Sunday's paper about Maryland's split personality on immigration issues. The state funds flow to CASA, a group that welcome immigrants regardless of status; but some counties have used their tax money to aggressively deport undocumented workers.