When the University of Missouri-Kansas City law professor isn't writing scathing editorials for the right-wing Heritage Foundation about recent attempts by Congress at immigration reform, he's mugging on Lou Dobbs Tonight to provide his scholarly opinions on the invasion of illegal aliens. When he's not dropping by a Minutemen rally in Topeka, he's meeting with a Republican women's club in Emporia, all the while chairing a state Republican Party that's teetering on bankruptcy.
Oh, yeah — he's also racking up lawsuits for any city or state where he helps craft immigration legislation.
Kobach has provided inspiration and assistance to at least three municipalities in creating local ordinances that fine employers and landlords who hire or harbor "illegals." They include Hazleton, Pennsylvania; Valley Park, Missouri; and, most recently, Cherokee County, Georgia. Trouble is, just about every city that passes one of Kobach's laws gets sued. Judges are handing down injunctions to bar enforcement of the laws until they can be fought in court. Last week, the much-publicized Hazleton ordinance was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge, which doesn't bode well for Kobach's other cases.
Kobach is working at the state level, too. His efforts have passed squat in Missouri and Kansas, but down in Arizona, lawmakers have created a law that requires businesses to verify the legal status of their workers through a federal database. Barely a week after the ink dried on the bill, Arizona got walloped with a federal lawsuit filed by a coalition of Arizona business interests.
Among the opponents of the bill is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which also is considering suing the state. Kobach, for one, wouldn't be surprised if it did. "These organizations are laying their cards on the table and saying 'We want cheap labor in the form of unauthorized alien workers, and we're willing to go to court if we lose in the legislature,'" Kobach wrote in an e-mail to the Department of Burnt Ends. "It's also ironic," he continued. "The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and affiliated business organizations used to be opposed to frivolous lawsuits; now they are bringing them, working hand in hand with the ACLU."
The Department can't help but find it ironic when a conservative leader pisses off big business.