Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) filed a response with the U.S. District Court in Maryland opposing plaintiffs’ emergency motion for an injunction against the E-Verify federal contractor rule. As reported on Tuesday, the plaintiffs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business organizations, have appealed the district court’s ruling on the E-Verify federal contractor rule while simultaneously asking the court to halt the impending effective date until the appeal is decided.
In its reply brief filed today, the government calls the plaintiffs’ motion for an injunction an “extraordinary and drastic remedy” which does not meet the standard set out by the Supreme Court. Here is a summary of the government’s main arguments against the motion. The entire brief is available below.
1. The plaintiffs’ appeal is not likely to succeed because the District Court methodically examined each issue in the original suit and found each to be without merit. The government also points out that the issues in this case have been decided in other circuits (namely, the D.C. Circuit and Ninth Circuit), and so the plaintiffs’ argument that this is an issue of first impression is not persuasive.
2. No irreparable harm to plaintiffs because (a) contractors will likely bill back any monetary damages back to the Federal Government; and (b) plaintiffs can simply refrain from doing business with the government.
3. An injunction would cause irreparable harm to the government and the public interest since an appeal could take months or even years, during which time the reliability of government procurement would continue to suffer.
4. The ongoing legislative proposals in Congress would involve a same or similar result as the rule, and thus either way, the use of E-Verify will likely be mandated.