Last March, Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcierri issued an executive order requiring all state contractors use the E-Verify electronic employment verification system. Carcierri skipped what other states have been doing - getting their legislatures to actually pass a law - and made law himself.

Now the American Civil Liberties Union has stepped in and filed a law suit claiming the governor's order exceeds his executive authority and also violates detailed statutes in place governing the purchasing process. Furthermore, the order is being implemented without regulations, a violation of the state's Administrative Procedures Act.

According to ACLU attorney Randy Olen:

The Executive Order is profoundly unwise and ill-advised as a matter of policy and, at least in part, is defective as a matter of law. The E-Verify requirement far exceeds the Governor's constitutional authority, essentially attempts to create laws which directly conflict with specific statutes properly enacted by the General Assembly, and creates an unconstitutional impairment of existing contracts. In addition, the Department of Administration's issuance of directives to implement the order, which threaten those who refuse to comply with the loss of present and future contracts, cannot stand in light of the absence of notice and comment procedures required by the Administrative Procedures Act. Whatever the motives behind the Governor's attempt to address the issue of illegal immigration may be, the Executive Order's attempt to legislate by executive fiat is clearly unlawful.

ACLU lawsuit challenging Rhode Island E-Verify exectuive order - Free Legal Forms