Many perspectives, 1 simple etiquette

Kris Kobach Rekindles Birther Conspiracy While Defending Proof of Citizenship Laws

Author: David Yee
Created: 22 April, 2016
Updated: 17 October, 2022
2 min read

There's no doubt that Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has been a champion of the cause to implement stricter voting laws across America.

Helping craft the laws in at least 3 states, including Kansas, Kobach is an ardent defender of both voter ID laws at polling places and proof-of-citizenship to register to vote.

He has also taken sharp stances on immigration, endorsing Donald Trump for his emphasis on border-control and supporting the pending SCOTUS case challenging President Obama's executive order to defer deportation action against the parents of so-called 'anchor babies.'

On his weekly radio program, Kobach responded to a caller's accusations of Obama's lack of citizenship, stating, 'but anyway, maybe you’re right, maybe that’s why he doesn’t talk about proof of citizenship, because he, you know, he would rather not bring up the citizenship issue.'


Now, in fairness to Kobach's overall topic, he's probably right on his point in the program that the outright poor are not that affected by proof of citizenship laws. In Kansas, receiving social services (including TANF and SNAP) requires proof of citizenship -- while it's probably not disenfranchising the poor, it's still one more of the inconvenience factors.

Although research is mixed, law professor Michael Gilbert published an essay in the Columbia Law Review making one of the most counter-intuitive claims about voter ID laws possible — that it actually makes voter fraud worse.

So it's hard to tell whether voter ID laws are really that effective; that's a point that will continue to be debated for many years to come.

But the real issue here is the double standards on 'birther' conspiracies.

We know for a fact that Ted Cruz was born in Canada in 1970 to a mother with American citizenship (his father became a U.S. citizen in 2005). We know for a fact that President Obama's mother was an American citizen, regardless of where he was born in 1961.

What's the difference?

But the irony here is in what Kobach told the National Review when defending Cruz's citizenship claims:

Consistent Democrats might realize that it would be unseemly to bring such a lawsuit after mercilessly mocking GOP birthers for so many years, but consistency has never been the Democrats’ strong suit.

In this particular instance, it appears that consistency is definitely a political issue that transcends party lines.