Topeka Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s illegal immigration cases continue to make their way through the nation’s judicial system.
This week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in two cases that involved Kobach’s work as an attorney.
The court refused to review a California Supreme Court ruling that upheld a state law giving California high school graduates reduced in-state tuition at state schools, regardless of their immigration status. The court did not give a reasons for its action.
Kobach, a Republican, was the lead attorney for the plaintiffs suing to have the law overturned.
Eleven other states, including Kansas, grant similar benefits to illegal immigrants. The others are: Illinois, Maryland, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.
Kobach said Tuesday the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider the case did not mean that it supports the California law.
He said the court may be waiting for more lower court rulings on similar laws in other states before it takes up the matter. Kobach is leading a similar lawsuit in Nebraska.
In another case Monday, the high court vacated an appellate court decision that declared a Hazleton, Penn., illegal immigration ordinance unconstitutional. The court sent the case back to the lower court for reconsideration.
“That was a big victory for the proponents of illegal immigration enforcement,” Kobach said.
Opponents of the Hazleton ordinance said the court’s decision doesn’t mean the lower court will automatically reverse its earlier ruling.
Among other things, the Hazleton ordinance requires businesses to use the federal E-Verify database to see if a worker is legally in the United States. Last month, the Supreme Court upheld a provision in an Arizona law that did the same thing.
Kobach has represented the city of Hazleton and state of Arizona in these cases. He is also representing the city of Fremont, Neb., in a legal challenge of anti-illegal immigration ordinance that he helped craft.
During his successful campaign for secretary of state, Kobach said he would work full-time in the position and handle his immigration work on his own time.