Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Courtroom News Service reports on the latest judicial setback for Kansas Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate, and immigration activist, Kris Kobach. A federal judge found a Kansas voter ID law unconstitutional yesterday and sanctioned, ordering him to take additional legal education classes.
In Fish v. Kobach, a group of voters, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, sued Kobach for enforcing a state law that required Kansans to provide proof-of-citizenship documents in order to register to vote. Kobach, who is running for governor, served on President Donald Trump’s national voter fraud panel that dissolved earlier this year after states refused to hand over personal voter information.
In an 118-page ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Julie Robinson said the law was unconstitutional as it created an unnecessary burden on voters. During the March trial, Kobach had the burden to show that voting by noncitizens was widespread enough to justify the law. In a ruling made by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Kobach was also required to show that the voter ID law did not violate the National Voting Rights Act.
Robinson also sanctioned Kobach for what she called a “well-documented history of avoiding this Court’s orders.” The federal judge condemned Kobach for failing to disclose documents and attempting to introduce evidence that she had already excluded. She ordered him to take six hours of legal education beyond what is required by his law license on trial procedure.