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Thu June 26, 2008
Supreme Court Declines to Hear Challenge to Kansas In-state Tuition Law
By Sylvia Maria Gross
Kansas City, MO – The US Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge to the Kansas law that allows illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at public colleges. A group of out-of-state students and parents had challenged the constitutionality of the law, but federal and appeals courts ruled they didn't have standing to sue.
In 2004, the Kansas legislature passed the law allowing undocumented students to pay in-state rates if they had attended at least three years of high school in the state. Kansas Republican Party Chair and UMKC Law Professor Kris Kobach sued the state on behalf of the out-of-state students. Although it's the end-of-line for this particular case, Kobach says the legal issue has yet to be addressed.
KOBACH: They never actually got to the question of whether the Kansas law violates the federal law at issue or the US Constitution.
Nine other states have similar instate tuition laws, and Kobach has a similar challenge pending in California state court. In Missouri, a bill awaiting Governor Matt Blunt's signature expressly prohibits undocumented students from paying instate tuition rates.