SB1070 Update: They can’t handle the [racial profiling] truth

by David Safier

We need more of this.

ABC's Channel 15 in Phoenix approached the question of SB1070 and racial profiling head on.

In a news story, UA law professor Gabriel Jackson Chin said racial profiling is built into SB1070. Chin has written at length on the topic many times before, as I've posted here. SB1070 states, racial profiling is prohibited "except to the extent permitted by the United States or Arizona constitution." That phrase creates a gigantic loophole, since both the Arizona and U.S. Supreme Courts have ruled that racial profiling is allowable in immigration-related circumstances.

Nothing new there, but it's great to see the station give Chin a forum to state his interpretation to a wider audience.

Now here's where it gets good.

None of the SB1070 supporters wanted to talk on camera about Chin's claim.

ABC15 contacted Governor Jan Brewer's Office, Arizona State Senator and co-sponsor Russell Pearce, and the state’s attorney defending SB1070 in federal court, John Bouma. None of them returned our phone calls.

ABC15 also called one of the bill’s authors, University of Missouri–Kansas City Law School professor Kris Kobach. Kobach is an attorney who also helped author Arizona’s employer sanctions law and has done work for the Federation for American Immigration Reform group. His is currently running for Secretary of State in Kansas.

Kobach agreed to an interview Monday night, but when ABC15 contacted him by phone, text, and e-mail he did not respond. This is uncommon for Kobach who is generally accessible.

These folks like simplistic explanations, combined with half truths and outright lies. They're not happy when they have to rebut a legal opinion about a law.

To be fair (which I always try to be) Kobach did say Chin's interpretation is incorrect. But making a statement is always easier than being confronted by follow-up questions.

Earlier in the day he said that Chin’s interpretation is incorrect. Kobach is familiar with the 1975 U.S. Supreme Court case but said that is not the intent of the exception.

He said it was included in the case race is a consideration, such as a suspect description. Or if a case arises where law enforcement notice a person’s legal documents don’t appear to match the individual’s race.

If what Kobach states is true, why not talk to the press? Usually, you don't want to stand in Kobach's way when a camera is around because you're likely to get run over. But he likes the stage all to himself, and he prefers talking to people who don't know enough to present a coherent argument against what he has to say. In this case, he might have faced one of those rare situations where the interviewer could ask some tough questions.

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