A court in Koblenz has taken a page from the state of Arizona and has ruled in favor of identy checks based on skin color (thanks to reader Zyme for the reference):
A Koblenz court knocked down the complaint of a black German man who got into an argument with two federal police officers who demanded his papers while travelling on a train.
He refused to show the officers his identity papers, and was taken off the train to a police station where his rucksack was searched and his driving license eventually found, the court said in a statement.
The officers then accused him of abusing them, and took him to court. During the hearing one of the officers said that when deciding which travellers to check, he sought out those who seemed to him to be foreigners and said one of his criteria was skin colour.
This prompted the man concerned to sue, saying their conduct was illegal. But the judges at the Koblenz administrative court in Rhineland Palatinate ruled on Tuesday that the officers had not acted illegally.
The ruling has for the most part received little mention in the German press, howeve, the Tageszeitung warned of the consequences if it is allowed to stand:
If you allow checks without suspicion in order to fight illegal migration, then you also automatically create a discriminatory situation. This discrimination is particularly directed at those who have legal residency here or have even long been German citizens. With each check, they will be reminded once again that they don't actually belong here and, at the very least, have an appearance that leads police to imagine they are illegal immigrants. … Here, the seeds of distrust and racism are permanently sown. Such laws only serve to hinder integration and should be eliminated.
The court decision in Koblenz is clearly unconstitutional, since it violates Article 3 of German Basic Law (Grundgesetz):
(1) All persons shall be equal before the law.
(2) Men and women shall have equal rights. The state shall promote the actual implementation of equal rights for women and men and take steps to eliminate disadvantages that now exist.
(3) No person shall be favoured or disfavoured because of sex, parentage, race, language, homeland and origin, faith, or religious or political opinions. No person shall be disfavoured because of disability.
The ruling (like the Arizona law) will hopefully be struck down on appeal.