Kemp Calls For 'Full Investigation' Into DDS Discrimination Claims

Jul 5, 2019

Governor of Georgia Brian Kemp is asking the Department of Drivers Services to "conduct a full investigation" into the claims of discrimination against Puerto Rican applicants. 

This is in response to a lawsuit filed in federal court on Tuesday alleging Georgia is discriminating against Puerto Rican driver's license applicants by treating them differently than other citizens. 

The lawsuit describes how Puerto Rican residents who have relocated to Georgia were required to complete questionnaires that residents from other states were not. Forms included questions about native frogs, types of foods and other inquiries unique to the islands culture. 

After hearing about the allegations Governor of Puerto Rico Ricardo Rossello asked Kemp to intervene, calling the allegations "absurd." 

RELATED: Puerto Rico Governor Asks Kemp To 'Address Irregularities Immediately'

Following the comments from Rossello, Cody Hall, Kemp's press secretary released the following statement: “Governor Kemp expects state employees to follow the law and treat every constituent with dignity and respect. Our team has spoken with DDS Commissioner Spencer Moore and asked him to conduct a full investigation into these claims. Given that this matter involves pending litigation, we will decline to further discuss any specifics involving this case.”

The allegations of additional scrutiny would be a constitutional violation. Article IV, Section 1 of the United States Constitution addresses how states within the United States should handle issues of this nature. Georgia State University Professor Amy Steigerwalt says that the law is clear about how U.S. Citizens should be treated in other states. 

"The Full Faith and Credit provision of the Constitution stipulates, that how citizens of one state are treated that state is supposed to treat all other citizens of any of the other states the same way," Steigerwalt says. "It doesn't matter if you're a resident of a state and it doesn't matter if you're a resident of one of the territories, which of course Puerto Rico is under a territorial jurisdiction."