(DailyVantage.com) – A county in Maryland appeared in federal court to defend its argument that a school board could create a school board seat that represents illegal immigrants, which only considers illegal immigrants’ votes, citing the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Residents of Howard County claimed the decision isn’t constitutional and discriminates against American citizens. The primary concern among citizens is that the seat takes voting power away from Howard County residents and grants it to those who’ve violated the law to enter the United States.
The scandal started when the county defended its decision to have a seat on the school board designated for students, which only public school students can vote for. According to Michael Smith, the attorney representing Howard County residents, the school board took more than 12% of the county’s electorates’ voting power away by instituting the policy. The controversy stems from the student appointee position on the board, which is typically for students who can provide insight for school board members. Despite student voters choosing the candidates for the appointed position, the board and the school associated with the vote ultimately select the appointee. The controversy raised questions about school board seats and who ultimately gets representation.
One judge, A. Marvin Quattlebaum Jr., addressed the controversy and asked if illegal immigrants are eligible for a school board seat due to a lack of representation. Since the student position provides representation for public school students, according to Maryland County’s legal arguments, the board could also create a seat for other under-represented groups like illegal immigrants. Amy Marshak, the lawyer for Howard County, answered Quattlebaum’s question by stating such a seat wouldn’t violate the Fourteenth Amendment clause.
Despite the legal arguments against a potential seat reserved for illegal immigrants, Howard County already allows illegal immigrants the opportunity to vote in local elections. The policy is contingent on the community approving the vote and doesn’t provide the illegal immigrant community with an election reserved for them specifically. The Public Interest Legal Foundation president argued against Howard County’s assertions by proposing a seat for a different community.
According to the President of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, J. Christian Adams, a Republican county could argue that the National Rifle Association isn’t adequately represented and provides a seat and election specifically for their community. Adams claims there isn’t a limit to which communities could receive their seat and election, raising concerns about Howard County’s legal assertions.
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