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December 8, 2011

CASA drops portion of suit against MD Dream Act

Attorneys backed by CASA de Maryland who are trying to block a 2012 referendum on the Maryland Dream Act have modified their lawsuit against the state, and now concede that opponents of the controversial law did gather enough valid signatures.

The CASA attorneys still contend that the referendum should not go forward because they say the law, which grants in-state tuition to illegal immigrants, is technically an appropriations measure and therefore not allowed to be petitioned. Oral arguments in the case are set for late January.

"We feel very strongly ... that this is the kind of law that the the Maryland Constitution prevents from going to referendum," said Joseph Sandler, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs.

The development means that a Maryland court will not have a chance to rule on a new internet tool that was used this year to gather signatures for the repeal effort. Maryland Republicans hope to use the tool more frequently, and have toyed with employing it to protest Gov. Martin O'Malley's congressional redistricting map.

The initial lawsuit had claimed that the signatures generated from online petitions did not pass legal muster.
Posted by Annie Linskey at 12:52 PM | | Comments (0)
        

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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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