The American Civil Liberties Union is asking for more than $50,000 in compensation for hours spent fighting Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach over issues that led to his contempt of court finding. U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson ordered Kobach’s office to pay for attorney fees and expenses when she ruled last month that Kobach ignored her orders after she blocked enforcement of the state’s voter registration law. Kobach has filed a notice with the court saying he intends to appeal her decision. Kobach failed to follow through on a promise to Robinson that counties would send postcards notifying people they could vote, even if they failed to show proof of citizenship when they registered. He continued to fight the notion that postcards were necessary until the day of his contempt hearing, which followed a trial in which he struggled to prove claims of widespread voter fraud.
In a filing on Monday, the ACLU said the court should award $51,646.16 for 133.5 hours attorneys spent on the contempt motion and related correspondence, as well as 19.41 hours from paralegals. Those hours, the ACLU said, were exacerbated by Kobach’s repeated refusals to cooperate.
“Indeed, the hours expended prosecuting this motion were largely due to defendant’s unnecessary recalcitrance, which is exactly why this court found it appropriate to hold defendant responsible for plaintiffs’ fees,” the ACLU said.
From September 2016 to March 2018, the ACLU “had to investigate, monitor, and work to resolve” issues of Kobach not complying with the temporary injunction in the case. Kobach’s “willful defiance of this court’s authority” required unnecessary proceedings, the ACLU said. Work by attorneys is detailed and dated, action-by-action, with related costs.