A federal judge has struck down Kansas’ voter ID law and ordered Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to take additional continuing legal education classes for “repeated and flagrant violations” of federal rules requiring disclosure of evidence before trial.
U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson of Kansas City, Kansas, ruled Monday that the law infringes on the right to vote under the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause and violates the National Voter Registration Act. Courthouse News Service, Politico, the Kansas City Star, the Topeka Capital-Journal and the Lawrence Journal-World have coverage.
The law requires proof of citizenship to register to vote. Robinson said there was little evidence that the law remedied a problem. At most, 67 noncitizens had registered or attempted to register to vote in Kansas over the last 19 years, she said.
Kobach had championed the law and represented the secretary of state’s office at trial. Robinson said there were several instances in which Kobach failed to disclose evidence to opponents before trial or failed to supplement disclosure, as required by the Federal Rules of Evidence. Robinson often excluded the undisclosed evidence, yet in at least one instance Kobach tried to introduce the excluded evidence, the opinion said.
Robinson said it’s not clear whether Kobach violated his discovery obligations intentionally or through unfamiliarity with the federal rules. “Defendant chose to represent his own office in this matter, and as such, had a duty to familiarize himself with the governing rules of procedure, and to ensure as the lead attorney on this case that his discovery obligations were satisfied despite his many duties as a busy public servant,” she wrote.
As a result, Robinson said, Kobach must take an additional six hours of continuing legal education pertaining to rules of evidence or procedure, in addition to any state CLE requirements.
Robinson had previously held Kobach in contempt of court for failing to follow court orders regarding voter notices and ordered him to pay attorney fees to cover the cost of the sanctions motion.
The case is Fish v. Kobach. The plaintiffs were represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Kansas and Dechert.
Voter purging and voter suppression is the conspiracy. It is a conspiracy to keep the minority party in power indefinitely regardless of the will of the people.
Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach has resorted to unprecedented deception even in court to pretend that voter purging works to help people vote. Of course it does not.
Voter purging is designed to prevent people from voting.
The Brennan Center did an amazing study showing that voting restrictions are more likely to appear in “purple” states as soon as the “reds” take power than they are to appear in “red” states.
The PDF study is called “A Principle or a Strategy.” journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1065912914554039