Sellers Rules Part of HB 1804 Unconstitutional

Only part of a controversial 2007 state immigration bill was found unconstitutional Wednesday by a Tulsa County District Judge Jefferson D. Sellers.
The ruling on HB 1804 was filed with the court clerk by Sellers 10 months after his last hearing on the suit filed by Michael C. Thomas, whose father is James C. Thomas a law professor at the University of Tulsa.
Some sections of the bill referred to formally as the Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007 became effective July 1, 2008.
Sellers struck down a provision of the law which denied resident tuition for higher eduction to those who passed a GED (General Education Development) test because it was unrelated to “the common theme” of HB 1804, a violation of the Oklahoma Constitution
James C. Thomas testified in court that the state constitution prohibits more than one subject be addressed in a legislative act. It was designed that to prevent “steam rolling” by legislators to gain a majority vote.
Thomas said he identified 20 separate subjects in the act.
Steven R. Hickman, an attorney also representing Michael Thomas, said Wednesday it was his opinion that section on GED tuition tainted the entire bill.
The suit was filed Jan. 3, 2008 against Gov., Brad Henry and the Tulsa County Commissioners. Sellers dismissed the case against the commissioners in April.

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