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A federal judge has found Kansas’s chief elections official, Kris Kobach — a Republican who helped lead the much-criticized commission set up by President Trump to investigate supposed voter fraud — in contempt of court in a sharply worded ruling that said Kobach acted “disingenuously” and that ordered him to pay damages for the opposing team’s attorney fees.
The order stems from a 2016 lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Kansas voters in federal court against a state voter ID law. The 2013 law requires people to provide proof of citizenship, such as a passport or birth certificate, when they registered to vote for the first time. The ACLU argues that the law violates the federal National Voter Registration Act, which requires state DMVs to offer people the ability to register with only the “minimum amount of information necessary.”
U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson issued a preliminary injunction in 2016 blocking the law and asked that the registrations of some 18,000 people whose materials had been held be notified with a postcard confirming their registration and polling place, as other voters are in Kansas.
But the ACLU recently charged that many voters had failed to receive the postcard; one man who has joined the lawsuit, Charles Stricker, who had been affected by the law, testified that even after the injunction he had been told that the legal issues about the right of people like himself to vote were “up in the air.”
Robinson sided with the ACLU’s January motion to hold Kobach, Kansas’s secretary of state, in contempt for the failures, as the court had ordered him previously to comply.
In her ruling, in which she said twice that Kobach acted “disingenuously,” Robinson wrote that she found “clear and convincing evidence” that he had disobeyed the preliminary injunction.
“Kansans have come to expect these postcards to confirm their registration status, and Defendant ensured the Court on the record that they had been sent prior to the 2016 general election,” Robinson wrote. “They were not, and the fact that he sent a different notice to those voters does not wholly remove the contempt.”
Robinson also wrote of evidence that Kobach “willfully failed to make sure that the county election officials were clearly and effectively trained to enforce” the voting rules enforced by the injunction.
“The official training manual for the counties continued to instruct that all voter registration applicants were required to submit DPOC [documented proof of citizenship] and his efforts to revise these instructions informally and in a piecemeal way led to confusion and misinformation.”
originally posted by: Krazysh0t
In a nice case of irony, the man Trump tapped to lead his witch hunt voter fraud panel was just found in contempt in a voter ID case.
Two of Kobach’s witnesses have said that since 2000 Kansas has identified 127 people who are believed to be noncitizens when they registered or attempted to register, the ACLU said. The ACLU said that only 11 are believed to have actually cast a ballot.
In 2016, Robinson ordered Kobach to fully register thousands of Kansas voters who had registered at the DMV but had failed to provide proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or passport, as required by a Kansas law that Kobach crafted.
Robinson had earlier scolded Kobach for initially informing the voters covered by her order that they were registered only for the 2016 election and for failing to ensure that they receive the same postcard notifications about their registration as other voters.
Robinson told Kobach during a 2016 telephone conference that she would hold him responsible for directing counties to send out these postcards. He promised to do his best and narrowly dodged a contempt hearing in 2016 because of this agreement.
“He admitted several times during the hearing that he understood the Court’s order meant he was to treat those covered by the preliminary injunction the same as all other registered voters, which included sending the standard postcard upon registration,” Robinson said in Wednesday’s order.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a motion in January asking the judge to hold Kobach in contempt and to impose sanctions for failing to send the postcards and failing to update the state’s election manual.
"(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.
Robinson later added in Wednesday’s ruling that “Defendant is now in the process of sending the standard postcards to all registered voters.”
originally posted by: Fools
About the judge:
She has also served as a member of the Emily Taylor Center for Women and Gender Equity.
About Emily Taylor Center for Women and Gender Equity:
The mission of the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity (ETC) at the University of Kansas is to provide leadership and advocacy in promoting gender equity and challenge gender-related barriers which impede full access, inclusion, and success. Approaching our work from a social justice lens, we raise awareness of critical issues, provide opportunities to translate awareness into action, and empower individuals to advocate for themselves and others.
So, it would seem to me that this judge will follow lock step anything progressive and was potentially asked to find something wrong with this guy. It seems to me that this is just more of the same partisan nonsense that is par for course these days...
And no, I do not care if she is a judge. Why do people pretend that judges are these fault free deities anyway? They are human beings.
Charles Stricker, who had been affected by the law, testified that even after the injunction he had been told that the legal issues about the right of people like himself to vote were “up in the air.”
Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.