Skip to Main Content



Goldberg Kohn and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office recently advised Cook County, Illinois, in a Seventh Circuit appeal by Texas and 13 other states aiming to intervene in a case the federal government previously had decided not to pursue any further in light of the new administration's decision not to support the Trump-era public charge rule. The "public charge" rule, which was vacated in November 2020, directed U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to deny green cards to immigrants who had used certain public benefits.

On March 9, 2021, the Biden administration dropped appeals pending in the Supreme Court and before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The Department of Homeland Security immediately stopped enforcing the public charge rule on March 9, 2021. On March 11, 2021, it filed for public inspection with the Federal Register a rule that formally removes from the Code of Federal Regulations the now-vacated 2019 rule on public charge inadmissibility.

Texas and the other states subsequently sought to intervene in the Supreme Court; after being turned away there, in the Northern District of Illinois. The 14 states argued that the Biden administration prevented enforcement of the Trump public charge rule and did not follow the Administrative Procedure Act in dropping the rule. The states motion to intervene was submitted to the district court in May 2021. The district court denied their request to interject themselves into the Cook County lawsuit, finding the motion to be untimely. The states appealed this decision, and the Seventh Circuit rejected the request as well, affirming the district court’s order after hearing oral argument in April 2022.

Goldberg Kohn attorneys David E. Morrison and Steven A. Levy are representing Cook County alongside Cook County State’s Attorney Jessica Scheller. Their co-counsel representing the Illinois Coalition for Refugee Rights include attorneys from Sidley Austin LLP, the National Housing Law Project, the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, and the Legal Council for Health Justice.

Read the full story in Law360 here. The Seventh Circuit opinion can be read here.