Federal Judge Tosses Conservative Groups Lawsuit Against Controversial Law

(UnitedVoice.com) – Several Democratic cities have passed ordinances allowing noncitizens to vote in municipal elections. Washington, DC, is one of them. A federal judge recently threw out a case against the law.

In 2022, the DC Council voted to allow noncitizens to vote in the local elections. The law permits them to cast ballots for local officials, recalls, and other local measures. Noncitizens can also run for positions in the local government, including sitting on the Board of Elections.

A group of several residents in the city filed a lawsuit against the Board of Elections, alleging the law violated their Fifth Amendment rights. The lawsuit stated that the Local Resident Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2022 “dilutes the vote of every U.S. citizen voter” living in the city. They also claimed it infringed on their “constitutional right to citizen self-government.”

The group, represented by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), asked Judge Amy Berman Jackson to prevent the Board of Elections from registering noncitizens to vote and not count their ballots.

Jackson asked the IRLI to show what its clients had “taken away or diminished” because of the law. When their response didn’t satisfy her, she ruled they didn’t have standing because they couldn’t prove they were harmed.

Judge Jackson went on to say that while the group of citizens might object to the law “as a matter of policy,” that doesn’t mean their votes will be treated differently than the noncitizens’ votes. The judge said the citizens weren’t “losing representation in any legislative body.” She accused the plaintiffs of “simply raising a generalized grievance.”

Fox News reported that IRLI intends to appeal the “flawed and limited decision to the” circuit court, Director of Litigation Christopher Hajec said. He explained that he always believed a higher court would decide the case and accused Jackson of even considering the larger legal question of “whether American citizens have a right to govern themselves.”

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