Trump’s voter suppression czar just got pounded in court – as he so richly deserved. https://t.co/hhrrVbWRv1
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) April 18, 2018
Breaking news: A federal judge found Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) in contempt of court, saying he failed to fully follow a 2016court order to make sure voters were fully registered. He is ordered to pay attorney's fees to the ACLU.
— Sam Levine (@srl) April 18, 2018
BREAKING: Kansas Secretary of State has been held in contempt of court. pic.twitter.com/rYWNo8DbJz
— Jessica Huseman (@JessicaHuseman) April 18, 2018
Per the hometown Topeka Capital-Journal:
U.S. District Court Judge Julie Robinson on Wednesday ruled Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was in contempt of court for failing to comply with her orders in a lawsuit over the state’s voter registration law.
Robinson ordered Kobach to pay for attorney fees for litigating the contempt motion, with additional remedies to be determined later.
American Civil Liberties Union attorneys complained Kobach routinely defied a temporary injunction issued by Robinson in 2016 to block enforcement of the state’s proof of citizenship law.
Kobach’s office refused to update language on its website suggesting that new voter applicants may not be able to vote after November 2016 elections. Kobach also failed to follow through on a promise to Robinson that counties would send postcards notifying voters they could participate in elections, even if they failed to show a birth certificate or other documents when they registered.
“The judge found that Kris Kobach disobeyed the court’s orders by failing to provide registered voters with consistent information, that he willfully failed to ensure that county elections officials were properly trained, and that he has a ‘history of noncompliance and disrespect for the court’s decisions,’ ” said ACLU attorney Dale Ho. “Secretary Kobach likes to talk about the rule of law. Talk is cheap, and his actions speak louder than his words.”
Kobach for years has championed the need for strict voter registration laws as a way of keeping noncitizens from voting. At a trial last month, he struggled to provide evidence to support claims of widespread voter fraud.
Kobach’s chief legal counsel, Sue Becker, continued to argue in the weeks leading up to the trial that it wasn’t necessary to send postcards. It wasn’t until the contempt hearing that Kobach “changed course,” Robinson wrote, and “claimed he had personally directed his staff to ensure that postcards be sent.”…
She also said Kobach was disingenuous in arguing her orders were ambiguous. Kobach admitted during the contempt hearing that he understood individuals covered by the preliminary injunction should be treated no differently than other registered voters.
She pointed to an ACLU witness who testified that when he called the Sedgwick County elections office, he was told it wasn’t clear whether he was registered.
Kobach’s “confusing notices, and his patent failure to fully inform and monitor compliance with the preliminary injunction order, caused confusion and misinformation,” Robinson said.
A day after the contempt hearing, Kobach said it was clear his office had bent over backward to comply with the judge’s orders. As a candidate for the GOP nomination for governor, Kobach rallies supporters by telling them he likes makes the ACLU unhappy.
“As soon as the ACLU sues, I know we have made the right decision,” Kobach said during a debate last week…
Preliminary twitter reports seem to indicate that “the office” — in other words, Kansas taxpayers — will be on the hook for whatever Kobach ends up paying in fines. Perhaps this may change a few Kansas voters’ minds about the ‘massive threat’ of (nonexistent) ‘voter fraud’?
This @KansasCityStar Pulitzer finalist on govt secrecy was overshadowed, understandably, but it's exceptional & worth reading. Among jaw-dropping gets: In Kansas, child-welfare officials shred meeting notes on child deaths to foil media inquiries.https://t.co/x5CFmIFzhJ
— Marc Duvoisin (@MarcDuvoisin) April 17, 2018