…and Joey “the silencer” Sandler was there for CASA de Maryland.
The ballot initiative must be certified by August 20th, so the Maryland equivalent of the Supreme Court will have to decide without delay.
Here is the story from the Baltimore Sun:
Maryland’s highest court will soon decide whether voters will get a chance to overturn a break on college tuition costs for illegal immigrants, following a hearing Tuesday on the 2011 law.
The Court of Appeals is expected to rule within weeks on whether the Dream Act will appear on the ballot in November. The question before the seven-judge panel is whether the act is a spending bill, which under state law is not subject to voter review.
If the court decides that the law is exempted from a referendum, some illegal immigrants would qualify to pay in-state tuition at Maryland public colleges and universities. CASA de Maryland, an advocacy organization for low-income Latinos, appealed the case to the Court of Appeals after the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court ruled in favor of allowing the referendum.
Del. Neil Parrott (R-Washington Co.) led the successful petition drive last spring and summer:
Del. Neil C. Parrott, a Washington County Republican, said the case has broad implications.
“What’s at stake is the ability for Marylanders to take any bill to referendum,” Parrott said. “What we have is a bill that was illegal to begin with. It goes against federal law to give in-state college tuition benefits to illegal aliens.
“Then you have people who are in this country illegally basically suing to short circuit the [right of] citizens of Maryland to be able to take a bill to referendum and vote on it this coming November.”
Parrott led MDPetitions.com in gathering nearly 109,000 signatures to force the Dream Act on the ballot.
Ballot questions must be certified by Aug. 20, making the matter time-sensitive.
CASA, with O’Malley surely pulling the strings, hired the biggest gun lawyer they could find—former DNC top dog—Joseph Sandler. When we uncovered Sandler’s long history of attempting to silence critics of Democrat policies we were not surprised they picked him. This issue is critical to O’Malley’s political advancement. As a matter of fact if he loses this—the gay marriage issue and re-districting (or even a couple of those pet projects of his) at the ballot box—he is toast! For more on Sandler we have a whole category on “the silencer” here.
Sandler made the case yesterday in Annapolis that the authorization for the illegal alien tuition break is an appropriation not subject to a referendum by the voters.
Joseph E. Sandler, a lawyer for CASA, was asked by the Court of Appeals judges to explain why the Dream Act is different from other bills that direct policy and involve future monetary decisions.
“Is this unique?” Judge Mary Ellen Barbera asked.
Sandler pointed to a legislative analysis characterizing the bill as one that mandates spending. The document projects that the Dream Act will increase state spending by $778,400 in 2014, based on an estimated 366 full-time students taking the discounted rate. Spending is expected to increase by $1.65 million in 2015 and $3.5 million in 2016.
“Tuition is about money,” Sandler told the judges.
Matthew J. Fader, an assistant attorney general, faced off against Sandler in court. He defended the State Board of Elections’ decision to allow the referendum to appear on the November ballot.
Fader argued that the law governs policy, not spending.