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Goldberg Kohn Litigation Team Wins Significant Victory in Public Charge Rule Challenge

Judge Feinerman issues summary judgment ruling for Cook County

November 12, 2020

On November 2, Goldberg Kohn's Litigation team won a significant court victory for our client Cook County when U.S. District Court Judge Gary Feinerman issued a summary judgment ruling on Cook County's complaint to invalidate the "public charge" rule issued last year by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. 

In Judge Feinerman's detailed ruling, he found that the DHS rule is unlawful because it "violates the Administrative Procedure Act," it exceeds the Department's authority under existing law, and is "arbitrary and capricious."  The DHS policy holds that potential reliance on virtually any public aid could be used to deny legal permanent residence status or even entry to the U.S.

Agreeing with GK's arguments, Judge Feinerman vacated the public charge rule not just in Cook County and not just in this case, but throughout the country.  He further held that the ruling is immediately effective.  On November 3, the Seventh Circuit granted DHS's motion for a stay, and entered an administrative stay of Judge Feinerman's decision while the parties brief the merits of the stay motion.  David Morrison leads the GK litigation team, which consists of Steve Levy, Juan Arguello, Takayuki Ono and Louise Tennis.  They have worked hand-in-hand for over a year with Cook County State’s Attorneys Jessica Scheller and Lauren Miller, and with counsel for co-plaintiff, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Inc. (ICIRR), to achieve this result. 

A previous appeal from Judge Feinerman's ruling granting a preliminary injunction to Cook County and ICIRR was affirmed by a majority decision of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (Judge Amy Coney Barrett dissenting), and is currently before the United States Supreme Court on a petition for certiorari.  Mr. Morrison has been appointed lead counsel for Cook County in that Supreme Court proceeding. 

Below are some of the news articles that have discussed Judge Feinerman's ruling:

Judge Again Strikes Down Public Charge Rule Nationally – Law360

Trump’s ‘Public Charge’ Immigration Rule Is Vacated by Federal Judge – New York Times

Court Voids Public Charge Rule Denying Immigrants U.S. Entry – Bloomberg News

In latest legal twist, judge blocks Trump’s immigration rule on public benefits – Associated Press

Judge Strikes Down ‘Public Charge’ Rule Restricting Immigrants – The Wall Street Journal

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