Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange says plaintiffs in a suit seeking to overturn the state’s new immigration law must “provide a clearer picture of the issues to be addressed” as the suit goes forward.
The motion, filed on Wednesday, says the plaintiffs in the suit should direct which charges are being brought against the 11 named defendants in the case, all state officials. The motion calls the initial lawsuit a “shotgun pleading.”
The AG’s office says, for instance, that schools superintendent Joe Morton, one of the defendants in the case, is being asked to defend a charge that the statute’s law enforcement provisions violate the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable search and seizure, something an educator would not have a role in.
“The Plaintiffs should be necessarily forced to clearly state their exact causes of action, the Plaintiffs asserting each one, the Defendants accused in each one, the legal grounds for each, and any relevant factual support,” the motion says.
The American Civil Liberties Union, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Immigration Law Center filed suit earlier this month to overturn the immigration law, which makes it a crime to be an undocumented alien in Alabama and gives law enforcement the power to detain those they have “reasonable suspicion” of being in the country illegally.
The lawsuit seeks class action status to allow the plaintiffs to represent all those who may be affected by the state’s new immigration law, signed by Gov. Robert Bentley on June 9. The suit says the defendants could bring harm to the plaintiffs because as state officials, they have a duty to enforce the law the plaintiffs seek to block.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt about our claims and what we’re setting out,” said Linton Joaquin, general counsel for the National Immigration Law Center. Joaquin said they would file a reply to the motion.
Earlier today, groups representing the plaintiffs filed a motion for an injunction against the immigration law while the lawsuit proceeds. If not granted, the immigration law would go into effect on Sept. 1.
– posted by Brian Lyman