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August 12, 2011

McDonough to join in-state tuition lawsuit

Del. Patrick McDonough is assembling a legal team to help fight a court challenge against a popular petition seeking to repeal the MD Dream Act, a controversial law that would give illegal immigrants discounted in-state tuition rates at Maryland colleges and universities.

McDonough (pictured on the right) said that the petition is so important that it "ranks up there with Oxygen" and wants to ensure that legal challenges fail so voters can determine whether the law should be implemented. The question is set for the 2012 ballot.

He said he will add himself to the case as an intervenor next week. 

Earlier this month the immigrant rights group CASA de Maryland filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the in-state tuition petition, which attracted nearly 109,000 valid signatures. Should the petition survive this legal challenge it will trigger the first state-wide referendum on a General Assembly-passed law in 20 years.

McDonough shared other gripes: He believes that Judge Ronald Silkworth, the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court judge assigned to the case, should remove himself because of a previous ruling.

Last year Silkworth tossed out a county-wide referendum effort on whether a casino should be constructed at Arundel Mills saying the ballot initiative would be would be illegal because the legislation to authorize the billion-dollar casino was part of an appropriation package. According to state law, appropriations - or spending allowances - cannot be decided upon by voters at the ballot box.

CASA de Maryland and its allies are making a similar argument to overturn the in-state tuition petition -- saying that the bill is budget related because it will trigger millions in state costs.

"He has prejudiced himself," McDonough said of the judge. A call to Silkworth's chambers has not been immediately returned.

With the slots referendum, Judge Silkworth's decision was overturned by the state's highest court. However, the Maryland Court of Appeals never released their reasoning. McDonough also wants that document made public, saying it will help guide legal strategy on both sides.

David Paulson, a spokesman for Attorney General Douglas Gansler said their office will not join McDonough's request to have the opinion released. Paulson said his office "respects" the high court's decision making process "and the time it may take to issue an opinion."

Gansler, a Democrat, leads the office responsible for defending state agencies. His lawyers will argue in court for the petition to go forward, as the state Board of Elections ruled.

Posted by Annie Linskey at 12:47 PM | | Comments (26)
Categories: Immigration


Pat keep on fighting against this group. They (CASA de Maryland)are no more than a left wing liberal organization who want to unjustly take our hard earned tax dollars. Since it is considered a budget issue than I as a LEGAL citizen of this state should have the right to say where my tax dollars go. Not be dictated by undeserving illegals.

If you rob a bank, you are not entitled to keep a portion of the loot for your children's college education.
If you instruct or coerce your children into stealing candy while you are robbing the 7/11, the children are not entitled to keep the candy.
It is a settled principle of Constitutional Law ...
"No one shall be permitted to profit by his own fraud, or to take advantage of his own wrong, or to found any claim upon his own iniquity, or to acquire property by his own crime. These maxims are dictated by public policy, have their foundation in universal law administered in all civilized countries, and have nowhere been superseded by statutes."


Does any one realize that the state quit funding many programs at the CC level that were considered statewide programs eventhough only provided at one CC. The state would make up the difference between the in-county tuition and the out-of-county tuition for out of county students. An example is the manufacturer specific auto programs at CCBC Catonsville. Some of the students are not able to return as without state reimbursement to the CC, they cannot afford the out of county tuition. It is a crime that current students cannot continue their education, but they want tax dollars to go to folks who cannot legally work in the state. I have a real problem with that. I would say cancelling of that statewide program is also budget related too!

Oh lord, this crook has decided that the lawsuit is going to be successful so he thinks he's going to ride it to higher office. Please run for Senate McDonough. Please.

I cant understand this argument...If these people are illegally in our Country, why cant we kick them out? If we dont kick them out, then in essence we are saying they have a right to be here!! If they have a right to be here...they should be entitled to all the rights that any Marylander gets. We cannot allow ourselves to create a second class of resident...even though it might sound like I am in favor of in-state tuition...I am not, I just cant understand how we got to the point where we cant remove these lawbreakers from illegally being in our state!!! I am in favor of LEGAL immigration, but it is obvious to me that these people arent here legally...why waste our money on litigation...lets just kick them out!! This comment is coming from a left wing liberal...lets not reward these job stealing illegals by allowing them to stay in our state!!!

We are nearly all of us here without permission, in varying degrees (the obvious exception being Native Americans). The most important point to remember about young students in this country that are not yet naturalized is that, generally speaking, they came here as even younger children, innocently, and deserve our respect and encouragement as they seek to improve their minds and opportunities (while bettering the economy). The term "leftist" by the way has been watered down to the point of meaninglessness.

We need more education in this nation, not less.

What Hal said. Taking bright young people and forcing them into an underclass w/ no future, as a result of decisions made by other people, is not fair. Education should be a basic right, not a luxury.

Hal demonstrats how bad the educationak system has become here in Maryland. Hal If I break into your House and LEAVE my children behind when I leave, According to your way of thinking, you are then responsible to take care of my kids. That's the kind of logic that has put this state and the USA on the brink of Financial Ruin. . To Mari...What part of ILLEGALLY in the COUNTRY don't you understand. They have NO RIGHTS in this country. Legal Citizens have NO financial OBLIGATION to pay their expenses.

(a) Once a nativist half-wit, always a nativist half-wit.
(b) The Court of Appeals has cases it heard five years ago that it hasn't issued opinions for yet. Maybe the nativist half-wit can pass legislation requiring the Court to issue its opinions in a timely fashion, if the nativist half-wit ever gets tired of beating up on poor children.

Agreed, we need more education. And with scarce resources the focus must be on our own citizens and those here legally.


We already pay for that basic educational right you speak of by providing K-12 education for illegal aliens to the tune of $1 BILLION per year. College education is NOT a basic right. They can still attend college, but at the out of state rate foreign students pay which is what they qualify for as illegal aliens. It isn't OUR fault their parents brought them here, it is the PARENT'S fault.

Everyone needs to do a google search for the coonection between MS-13 and Casa De maryland. They recently help a memeber of there gang reenter the State and he was then caught pimping out young latin girls. Is this what casa De maryland stands for, and why is the sun paper trying to hide this?

So what you're saying is that Del. Patrick McDonough (R) would prefer to pay for police, the legal system, and additional prison resources rather than an education for kids WHO AERN'T GOING ANYWHERE. Kids who could go on to contribute in great ways to our State and Country.


Another Republican for the further destruction of America. BTW, Mr. McDonough that rug looks horrible!

The absence of reliable information in the great majority of these comments due to failure to exercise of critical thinking skills and cross-referencing of "sources" makes many of these comments laughable, but sad.

In short, DREAM Acts do NOT impede native born students from getting an education. They don't work that way.

Kudos to Casa Maryland, long respected as one of the most effective human and civil rights advocacies in the country.

Obviously, "illegal" is "illegal" everywhere except in Annapolis, MD where 188 boobs - give take a few of 'em - have highjacked the State of MD, holding it hostage for the sake of all of those "illegal" votes they hope to get from all of those "illegals" registered at the MVA.

Equally as obvious, 'you cannot fix stupid,' which abounds in the State House, the House and the Senate.

Will the last conservative to leave MD please take down all flags and turn off the lights.

Rachel Hueman is writing from Illinois, and she is an "immigrant activist".

Note to Rachel:

"Native Born" and known as CITIZENS.

Illegal Aliens are known as CRIMINALS.

There is a BIG difference!!!

I've got news for Rachel, who is well known in Chicago as an "immigrant" aggitator.

Rachel, "Native Born" are known as CITIZENS!

Illegal Aliens are known as CRIMINALS!

Can't wait till you can figure out the difference!

A delusional progressive mindset has polluted the American legal system. For the ACLU to claim illegal immigrants have Constitutional rights on the taxpayers dime goes beyond ridiculous .For the American University to voluntarily bastardize our legal system by promoting this behavior through it's own 'school of law' is not only beyond ridiculous but wholeheartedly un-American. To claim an illegal has constitutional rights protecting their desire to live in this nation is entirely contradictory to the legal immigration process and only serves to deprive legal citizens of opportunity. Our constitution clearly denies the right to illegally enter US soil, illegal entry can not grant an individual the privilege of constitutional rights and protections designed to be enjoyed by legal tax paying citizens. Illegal entry should be rewarded with nothing short of legal deportation. The issues are not about race, or skin color. "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. "
'We the people' are the citizens. Undocumented is illegal, all Illegals should face a swift and legal deportation. We the People established a process. A failure to deport illegals is a direct violation of DUE PROCESS OF LAW, it deprives the CITIZENS.

The coalition opposing the Dream Act has based their campaign on lies. The Dream Act will take not take away space at a college or university from citizens. Undocumented students must begin at the community college level and must earn an AA. Community colleges have an open enrollment policy. State law allows anyone with an AA from a community college to transfer to a state university. Again no space will be denied to a legal resident.

In these difficult economic times, racism should not rear it's ugly head.

No human being is illegal. It's high time these students get a chance at opportunity in the only country they know as their home.

There is no shortage of educational opportunities for anyone in America. There are plenty of schools and programs to go around for all. The problem is when we limit the access of educational programs only to the native born, especially when some of these students do not have the dedication to hard work that is needed for success. Problems for our society occur when we limit the educational opportunities for gifted students who are high achievers because of their hard work (which is partially due to the values and support of their parents.) We need these students because they are our future. I rather my tax dollars go to students who are hard workers and have proved themselves academically. My children benefit from their intellectual competition in the classroom. I want my children to be surrounded by achievers, whether native born, documented or undocumented immigrants. If we are to succeed in this country, we need to focus on educational opportunities for all children.

Voters should be allowed to vote on this measure, it shouldn't have come down to the hands of the Maryland General Assembly in the first place.

In-state tuition for illegals is wrong! ILLEGAL MEANS ILLEGAL, GTHO!

The democrats should be the ones we focus ALL our anger towards. The Republicans were asleep at the wheel and are now trying to honor the people's wishes. Right now EVERY SINGLE democrat who voted for this illegal law should have heard from EVERY single one of us and KNOW with a certainty that their jobs are ON the line. We stood up united and put this on the ballot. The democrats voted last year to GIVE our tax dollars to Casa de Maryland (I'm sure some republicans voted to give our money to them as well: we need their names so we can target them with our DISDAIN). Hold the Democrats responsible who voted for this. How can citizens file a lawsuit saying the casa de maryland is violating our civil rights by discounting our legal signatures? We need a lawyer!!!!!!!!!!!!

Keep in mind what is fair. My son goes to college out of state and we pay out of state tuition because it is fair and the right thing to do. Otherwise we bring him back to go to school here in Maryland. Illegal aliens should simply do the same.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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