A New York Education Law that dictates only U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents are eligible to obtain a pharmacist’s license in New York is unconstitutional, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has ruled. Upholding a lower court judge, the circuit said Education Law §6805(1)(6) violates the equal protection and supremacy clauses because it discriminates against aliens who have been lawfully admitted to reside and work in the United States. “This case involves a state regulatory scheme that seeks to prohibit some legally admitted aliens from doing the very thing the federal government indicated they could do when they came to the United States—work,” Judge Richard Wesley (See Profile) wrote for the circuit in Dandamudi v. Tisch, 10-4397.

All of the plaintiffs reside in New York, where they are licensed pharmacists pursuant to a waiver of §6805(1)(6) that was set to expire in 2009. They filed suit in the Southern District, where then-Judge Richard Holwell granted their motion for summary judgment and enjoined enforcement of the law on Sept. 30, 2010.