August 5, 2007
The recent rulings by two Virginia judges that the state's new abusive driver fees are unconstitutional could be setting the stage for an avalanche of more lawsuits.
Many in the legal community are predicting court challenges from across the state to the fees, which don't apply to out-of-state motorists.
Both a Henrico County judge and a Richmond General District Court judge ruled this week that that means the fees are unconstitutional because they violate the 14th Amendment's guarantee for equal protection under the law.
Virginia lawmakers are now considering changing the laws to include out-of-state drivers. The fees were passed as a way to help fund transportation projects without raising taxes.
Since the fees were enacted last month, more than 160,000 people have signed an online petition to repeal the laws.