California Attorney General Kamala Harris filed a brief with the California Supreme Court last week, supporting Sergio Garcia’s case to be admitted to the California Bar, reports CBS News.
California’s Latino state legislators have also spoken out in support of Garcia, reports the Los Angeles Times. The California Legislative Caucus submitted a brief to the court in support of Garcia.
Garcia passed the California bar exam but has been unable to gain admission to the California bar due to the fact that he is an undocumented citizen.
Garcia has lived in the United States since he was a baby, and he paid his way through law school by taking odd jobs. But at the same time, he is an illegal alien and has been waiting for his Green Card for over a decade.
The dispute has now made its way to the California Supreme Court. We’ve discussed it a few times on this blog, even breaking down the requirements for admission to the California state bar. As we pointed out, nowhere is there an express requirement that the person seeking admission be a legal resident of the United States.
So what’s the holdup?
According to Larry DeSha, former state bar prosecutor, the issue relates to Garcia’s ability to uphold the oath. The oath requires attorneys to state that they will uphold the Constitution, the laws of the US, and the laws of any state. This, DeSha says, implies immigration laws as well.
The California Supreme Court is waiting for the U.S. Department of Justice to weigh in with its brief, expected in August. So far, Sergio Garcia has amassed a number of amicus curiae supporting his position. In addition to Kamala Harris and the Latino legislators, he also has backing from the Los Angeles County Bar Association.
Let’s see where this goes when the Supreme Court finally renders its decision.
- Can Illegal Immigrants Practice Law in California? (California CaseLaw Blog)
- California Supreme and Appellate Cases (FindLaw CaseLaw)
- California Bar (HomePage)