Published February 18, 2005
The court upheld a Polk County District Court judge's ruling.
"We conclude that the practice of denying driver's licenses to illegal aliens violates none of the statutory and constitutional provisions raised by the classes," the Supreme Court ruling said.
The Iowa Department of Transportation (search) requires applicants for a driver's license to show proof of identity and a Social Security card.
Curt Daniels, lead attorney for a group of immigrants who filed a lawsuit against the state, argued Jan. 13 before the Supreme Court that the policy violates their rights to equal protection under the U.S. constitution.
Mark Hunacek, an assistant attorney general, said federal courts have concluded there is no constitutional right for illegal aliens to have a driver's license.
"We conclude the state's licensing scheme is rationally related to the legitimate state interest of 'not allowing its governmental machinery to be a facilitator for the concealment of illegal aliens,' " the court said.