Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach violated a court order that required his office to inform certain people that they were eligible to cast a ballot while a lawsuit challenging a state law requiring proof of USA citizenship worked its way through the courts, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. The injunction found that Kansas can not require voters to produce proof of US citizenship, such as a birth certificate or USA passport, when they register at licensing offices.
She ordered that Kobach cover the attorneys fees' of the challengers in the case or the costs of their efforts to bring Kobach in compliance with her order.
U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson found Kobach failed to send out standard postcards to those would-be voters and failed to update the County Election Manual used by local election officials processing voter applications, as she had ordered him to do in May 2016.
The organization also wanted Kobach to correct erroneous and misleading information in the state's official election manual to make clear that, for now, those voters are exempt from the state's proof-of-citizenship requirements.
Robinson's ruling seethed at Kobach directly who had peculiarly chosen to represent himself in court and embarrassed himself when Judge Robinson had to explain basic legal procedure to him during the trial.
"(Kobach) was in contempt of the court order, but he also has just demonstrated this pattern of non-compliance with the federal law and disregard for the very idea that citizens have a right to participate in their democracy", said Micah Kubic, executive director of the ACLU of Kansas.
Kobach has also made unsubstantiated claims about voter fraud. But when Robinson reminded Kobach in court last month that he had previously assured her in court that he would send the postcards, Kobach changed course, saying his office had orally instructed county officials to send the postcards and could not force them to do so.
Kobach and his lawyers initially said in court documents that they were only obligated to send affected voters the court notice, not the postcards.
"Defendant has a history of noncompliance with the preliminary injunction order". "Kobach's steady string of self-promotional partisan maneuvers and costly taxpayer funded lawsuits illustrate his overwhelming unfitness to be the next governor of Kansas". Secretary Kobach likes to talk about the rule of law. He had registered in the state two years earlier but was humiliated when he went to vote in the 2014 elections and was told he needed to cast a provisional ballot because he wasn't on the voter rolls.
He is now running for governor of Kansas.