Rensselaer County to file lawsuit over Green Light Bill

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TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Rensselaer County Clerk and the County Executive are taking steps to file a lawsuit. They claim that the Green Light law is unconstitutional.

“We will be suing the state of New York that passed that bill. At this point, we are putting it together,” explained Frank Merola, Rensselaer County Clerk. “We are unsure if we are going to do it on a state level or a federal level. It’s undecided at that point.”

Merola said, while he is not anti-immigration, he does not believe the DMV should be giving licenses to those who are undocumented.

“We will not issue a license to anybody who walks in our office that can’t prove they are here legally,” said Merola.

He said he filed a lawsuit back in 2007 when Elliot Spitzer proposed similar legislation on the issue. Dutchess County Clerk Bradford Kendall is also opposed to it, saying that driving is a privilege, not a right.

In a statement, Kendall said, in part, “ I expect that this will be challenged in court as infringing on Congress’ express power to “establish a uniform rule of Naturalization” and hope that it will be reversed. We continue to assess our options.”

NEWS10 ABC reached out to Kendall for clarification, but at this time, there is no word as to if Dutchess County will be joining in on the lawsuit.

The bill will go into effect on December 16.

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