Kris W. Kobach –
Excerpt: Chris Kobach: The Supreme Court Strikes a Blow for States’ Rights, Immigration Enforcement
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court handed down a decision that had far-reaching consequences – consequences that were missed entirely by the mainstream media. In Kansas v. Garcia, the Court held by a 5-4 vote that federal law did not prevent Kansas from criminally prosecuting illegal aliens for identity theft.
The Kansas law had been used to prosecute three illegal aliens who had stolen the social security numbers of other people. The five conservative justices voted to overturn a decision by the liberal-dominated Kansas Supreme Court. …
Writing for the majority, Justice Alito
rejected this argument emphatically:
“The mere fact that state laws like the Kansas provisions at issue overlap to some degree with federal criminal provisions does not even begin to make a case for conflict preemption. From the beginning of our country, criminal law enforcement has been primarily a responsibility of the States, and that remains true today. In recent times, the reach of federal criminal law has expanded, and there are now many instances in which a prosecution for a particular course of conduct could be brought by either federal or state prosecutors. Our federal system would be turned upside down if we were to hold that federal criminal law preempts state law whenever they overlap, and there is no basis for inferring that federal criminal statutes preempt state laws whenever they overlap.”
These words will be quoted many times in the future by lawyers defending the validity of state laws. Not just in the identity theft and immigration fields, but in all areas.
Challenged state laws will stand a much greater chance of surviving judicial review. …
… Regardless the majority holding will have nationwide consequences in the immigration field for years to come. States can, and should, take steps to discourage illegal immigration. Tuesday’s decision will make it harder for liberal attorneys and judges to stop them. |6 Mar 2020
Kris W. Kobach served as the Secretary of State of Kansas during 2011-2019. He was a professor of constitutional law at UMKC Law School during 1996-2011. An expert in immigration law and policy, he coauthored the Arizona SB-1070 immigration law and represented in federal court the 10 ICE agents who sued to stop Obama’s 2012 DACA executive amnesty. He is currently a candidate for the U.S. Senate. His website is www.kriskobach.com.