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Oral argument held at US Court of Appeals in Kearns' lawsuit challenging constitutionality of 'Green Light Law'

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Wed, May 13th 2020 01:55 pm

On Wednesday morning, the U.S. District Court, Second Circuit Court of Appeals, heard oral arguments regarding the County Clerk Michael P. Kearns’ appeal of a lower court decision dismissing his lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the “Green Light Law.”

Kearns stated, “I am very pleased with today’s arguments and I could not be more proud of the hard work of the Erie County Attorney’s Office. After hearing the questions of the panel of judges, we are happy with where they are focusing their attention and are optimistic about success.”

In accordance with the court’s social distancing practices, oral arguments were held via a teleconferencing platform. Kearns listened from the Erie County Clerk’s Office and was encouraged by the justices’ focus upon his argument that the “Green Light Law” compels him to violate his oath of office.

“I put my hand on our family Bible and took an oath of office that I would uphold the constitutions of the state and federal governments,” Kearns said. “Because New York state doesn’t like the president’s immigration policies, they have made county clerks across the state a cog in a legislative scheme to ensure it’s impossible for them to uphold their oath office. I’m happy to stand up for the solemn promise that every elected official makes.”

Audio of the oral argument will be available at https://www.ca2.uscourts.gov/decisions.

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