Live from Washington, D.C. Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to the microphone to discuss his ongoing Texas lawsuit against the Biden administration that has ordered ICE and immigration officials to release criminals into the country’s interior.
Leahy: This is the first time we’ve had an in-person interview.
Kobach: That’s right.
Leahy: Kris Kobach a former secretary of state of Kansas and one of the best immigration attorneys in the country. Kris, it is a delight to have you here.
Kobach: It’s great to be with you.
Leahy: We’ll talk about this in a bit. You’re also running for attorney general in Kansas. But talk about the litigation where you are representing seven Texas counties.
Kobach: Yes. On July 1, I brought a lawsuit on behalf of seven Texas counties as well as sheriffs and an association of ICE officers against the Biden administration.
And it’s in federal district court in the Southern District of Texas in Galveston. And the suit we brought points out that the Biden administration is breaking not one but four federal statutes.
Leahy: Is it only for only four?
Kobach: Only four at this time. It’s shocking. There are federal laws that say, if you the Ice officer apprehend someone who is a criminal in this category and is an illegal alien, you shall detain him and you shall deport him.
Leahy: It says, shall. It doesn’t say it might.
Kobach: As your listeners know, shall is a mandatory word in the law when a legislator puts shall in, that means you have no choice. The Biden administration is saying, yeah, whatever. We’re going to ignore the law.
Worse than that, they’re ordering ICE and Border Patrol officers to ignore the law. That’s why the ICE officers want to bring this lawsuit. We’re bringing it on their behalf and on behalf of the Sheriffs.
The sheriffs, on the other hand, will arrest criminal illegal aliens who are caught stealing someone’s car right after they cross the border in many of these counties. It is a very common crime.
And in the past, they would call the local board patrol or ICE officer, and they would say, yes, bring them over. We want custody of that person right away. Now, the Biden administration says, turn them loose.
Leahy: Turn them loose so they can commit crimes. If you’re an illegal alien under the Biden administration, they let them commit crimes and turn them loose.
Kobach: Right. Those are just a couple of examples. Let me give you another one. There’s another process where when the illegal alien criminal is convicted and spends time in state prison, it used to be the ICE policy, which is required by statute, that that felon be taken from the jail when he finishes his sentence and is immediately deported.
The administration is getting these phone calls from the state facility saying, okay, this person is going to be released next Tuesday, and the Biden administration says, yeah, well, we don’t want them anymore. Just turn them loose onto the streets of America.
Leahy: This lawsuit is now in a federal district court in Galveston, Texas.
Leahy: Where does the lawsuit stand right now?
Kobach: So we’ve moved for a preliminary injunction, which is for the request for the judge to immediately order the Biden administration to stop these policies while we litigate the case. We moved for that in July.
The briefing was finished on August 23rd. It’s been on the judge’s desk since then, and we’re expecting a decision any time now from the federal district judge in Galveston. And hopefully, God willing, it will be a decision that will stop the administration from this lawlessness, at least during the litigation of the case.
And I’m very confident we are going to win. Shall means shall. It’s pretty hard for the federal government to argue that shall means may, but that’s what they are doing.
Leahy: Without talking about this particular case, let me talk about a general concern. I see federal district court judges making crazy decisions all the time. And then you have to go through the appeals process. But should Americans have confidence in our federal judiciary?
Kobach: Well, yes, because we have quite a few judges and justices who are committed to the plain meaning of the Constitution and to the plain clear meaning of statutes and the original meaning that the framers of the drafters had in mind.
We do have a significant number of activist judges who are on the bench, and those are the problem ones who feel like they can change the meaning of a statute just by making a good argument for it.
But that’s not how our system is supposed to work. So I would say yes, especially since the Supreme Court of the United States has a group of originalist, non-activist judges who are in the majority. That’s why the courts really are our only hope right now.
Leahy: You are a very interesting person politically. I followed your career from the beginning. You’re at Yale Law School, guy?
Leahy: Harvard undergrad?
Leahy: What year?
Kobach: Harvard, undergrad in ’88 and Yale in ’95.
Leahy: I was eleven years had you and I’ve watched your career skyrocket. So your secretary of state in Kansas ran, I think, for the Senate and didn’t win there. But now are running again for attorney general.
Leahy: When is that election? And what are your prospects?
Kobach: The election is next year in 2022. My prospects look good right now. We released a poll that has me way ahead of the pack in the primary. The election date for the primary is August second in Kansas.
If I win that office, which God willing, I’ll be able to do that will put me in a position to be able to really go on the offensive against the Biden administration. Right now, we have a handful of state Republican attorneys general who is carrying it.
Texas’s Ken Paxton who is leading the pack who is trying to sue the bi administration when they are acting lawlessly. And the state attorney general has standing on behalf of the citizens of his state to bring those lawsuits.
And so I’ll be able to continue to litigate against the Biden administration. But not just with one suit in the case of the Texas Sheriff’s, but with multiple suits.
And to just give you some perspective on this, during the Trump administration, the blue-state attorneys general brought 103 lawsuits against Trump. Right now during the Biden administration, which has acted lawlessly. And there are many, many suits that aren’t even being brought, there are just over a dozen suits.
Leahy: We need the red states attorneys general to step up their game. And if you’re elected in Kansas, you’ll step up your game.
Kobach: Oh yes. Kansas will be standing next to Texas carrying multiple lawsuits.
Leahy: Kris Kobach, it is a delight to interview you in person. Good luck with your career. We’ll be watching with great interest. Thanks for joining us.
Kobach: Thank you. My pleasure.
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