SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (CN) – It took a federal judge just one day to block the city of Springfield from enforcing a voter-approved law that requires businesses to check employees’ immigration status using the government’s E-Verify system.
U.S. District Judge Richard Dorr issued a preliminary injunction Thursday against the law. In issuing the injunction, Dorr ruled that the plaintiffs would probably succeed on the merits of their complaint.
Just a day before, three businesses – Positronic Industries, Oke-Thomas + Associates and Stenger Management – and businessman Joe Robles challenged the law’s constitutionality. The companies claimed that the law violates their right to due process, as well as state and federal laws. The law was scheduled to take affect June 4.
“The city attorney has stated that neither the finance department of the city nor the administrative law judge have the right, power or duty to enforce the ordinance based on the recent decision by the Missouri Supreme Court in City of Springfield v. Belt, Id.,” the complaint states.
“That the enforcement of the ordinance knowing that is invalid is arbitrary, capricious, willful and wanton and in violation of the due process rights of the plaintiffs under Article 1, section 10 of the Missouri Constitution and the due process clause of Section 1 of Article XIV of the Constitution of the United States.”
The plaintiffs are represented by Joseph Sheppard of Carnahan, Evans, Cantwell.