Update: Washington Post blog reports on Judicial Watch’s entry into the case, here.
Below is the whole press release (hat tip Cecil Calvert):
MD Petitions.com Seeks to Intervene in Lawsuit over SB167 Referendum
(Washington, DC) — Judicial Watch, the public interest organization that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today (9/22/11) that it has filed a “Motion to Intervene” on behalf of MDPetitions.com, the organization that sponsored the petition drive to place the Maryland DREAM Act on the ballot for the November 2012 elections. The Motion to Intervene was filed in response to a lawsuit that seeks to deny voters an up-or-down vote on the Maryland DREAM Act (John Doe, et al., v. Maryland State Board of Elections, (No. 02-C-11-163050)).
The chairman of MDPetitions.com is Maryland Assembly Delegate Neil Parrott of Washington County; Delegate Patrick McDonough of Baltimore and Harford Counties is its honorary chairman.
The DREAM Act was enacted by the Maryland General Assembly and signed by Governor Martin O’Malley on May 10, 2011. The law creates a new taxpayer-subsidized public benefit — the ability to pay reduced tuition rates at Maryland community colleges and public higher education institutions — for certain eligible illegal aliens. The petition drive was perhaps the most successful in Maryland history. It collected nearly twice the amount of signatures required by law to put the new benefit to voters in a referendum. As stated in MDPetitions.com’s filing:
As the sponsor of this overwhelmingly successful petition, MDPetitions.com obviously has a compelling interest in ensuring that voters across the State of Maryland have the opportunity to vote on the Maryland DREAM Act in the November 2012 election.
MDPetitions.com represents not only its leaders and organizers and the hundreds of volunteers who worked to make the successful petition possible, but also the 108,923 confirmed registered voters who signed the petition in the exercise of their rights under Article XVI, Section 2 of the Maryland Constitution. In addition, as the creator of a web-based computer program that as many as 28,860 confirmed registered voters used to generate, print, sign, and mail in clear and accurate petition pages, MDPetitions.com has a unique interest in preserving the availability of this…tool for use by registered voters in future petition drives. MDPetitions.com seeks intervention… to protect these…interests against the unfounded allegations of the [lawsuit]…
The filing also included an “Answer of Intervener MDPetitions.com to Plaintiffs’ Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief,” which responds point-by-point to the allegations of the plaintiffs, who include two illegal aliens and the advocacy group CASA de Maryland.
“CASA de Maryland and the illegal alien lobby are attempting to throw out over 100,000 validated voter signatures and ignore the will of the people,” said Delegate Neil Parrott. “It appears that those who oppose the referendum process are doing so because they know how unpopular this bill is and, fearing that they will lose at the ballot box, have mounted this lawsuit to prevent Marylanders from exercising their constitutional right to decide the issue on their own. Marylanders across the state have worked hard to bring this bill to referendum, because they know Maryland cannot afford to subsidize college tuition for illegal aliens and they want to see our existing immigration laws enforced. Maryland’s referendum process has worked, and now Marylanders should have their voices heard at the ballot box.”
“It is a great asset to the voters of Maryland to have Judicial Watch help to make sure that Marylanders will have an opportunity to vote on this important issue in November of 2012,” said Delegate Patrick McDonough. “As Honorary Chairman I know the volunteers worked hard to make this petition campaign the most successful in the history of the state. This is the people’s petition and the voters have the right to exercise their power on this key issue.”
“MDPetitions.com followed the letter of the law in its overwhelmingly successful petition drive, and there is no question that the Maryland DREAM Act should be put to a referendum. The illegal immigration lobby simply wants to keep Maryland voters from having their say on the issue of taxpayer-funded tuition benefits for illegal aliens,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The illegal immigration lobby knows that the American people are fed up with bankrolling perks for illegal aliens. Given Maryland’s devastating budget crunch, now is not the time to spend taxpayer dollars by paying for the education of illegal aliens who can’t legally work in Maryland or anywhere else in the United States.”
Contact Delegate Neil Parrott: 410-774-0121, email@example.com
Contact Delegate Pat McDonough: (410) 841-3334, firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information please visit www.judicialwatch.org. Judicial Watch neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office. Judicial Watch can be reached at 202-646-5188.
Readers new to this issue may find an archive of all of our posts on the topic, here.