Sunday, June 16, 2024

Kansas Republicans Add Their Support to SB 1070

Two Republican leaders in Kansas have filed a friend of the court brief in federal court supporting the state of Arizona’s anti-immigrant bill, SB 1070.

Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt, R-Independence, and House Speaker Mike O’Neal, R-Hutchinson are siding with AZ Governor Jan Brewer, the defendant, in the federal government’s suit to stop implementation of the new law.

Their brief is the first of its kind to be filed.

Arguing that it is the state’s responsibility to “ensure the safety of our citizens,” the brief said, “If the position of the federal government is affirmed on appeal, then the ability of all states to preserve law and order within their borders through the exercise of their inherent general police powers will be substantially diminished.”

Schmidt is the Republican candidate for Kansas Attorney General who is essentially guaranteed to win his election in the fall in this conservative state.

In early July, the federal government filed a law suit against the state of Arizona to stop the new law from taking effect later that month.  The primary argument in the suit was that it, “usurps the federal government’s “pre-eminent authority” under the Constitution to regulate immigration.”

A federal judge blocked some of the most controversial parts of SB 1070 just one day before it took effect and targeting the provisions that would have required police to check the immigration status of anyone they suspected of being undocumented.

Schmidt, a candidate for Attorney General, and O’Neal are supporters of Kris Kobach in his bid for Kansas Secretary of State.  As reported previously in La Plaza, Kobach is the mastermind behind SB1070 and other similar proposals that are popping up around the country.

A former member of the Bush administration in the Department of Justice, Kobach dedicated himself to defending local anti-immigrant ordinances.  He believes he can craft legislation in a way that it will stand up to any judicial challenge, saying of the opponents to SB1070, “They are heavy on political rhetoric but light on legal arguments.”

SB 1070 sponsor Steve Pearce, along with Kobach and supporters, have indicated their next target will be denying citizenship to the children of undocumented immigrants, a movement which seems to be gaining traction on the federal level with a number of Republicans on Capitol Hill now calling for hearings to overturn the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.



  1. How sad that some politicians will promote hate and racism in order to get elected.