Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach filed a statement this week contending a federal judge erred in deciding the state’s voter registration law is unconstitutional in requiring new voters to prove their citizenship. The statement was filed Tuesday with the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. It is an initial step in an attempt by Kobach to overturn the June 18 decision of U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson. The statement lists two claims as a basis for Kobach’s appeal and says other issues may be raised later for appellate judges to consider. It was filed on Kobach’s behalf by Kansas solicitor general Toby Crouse, an official in the state attorney general’s office. The 2011 voter registration law requires that people registering to vote for the first time provide documents proving U.S. citizenship. The American Civil Liberties Union challenged the law in a 2016 lawsuit.
Robinson concluded the state law is contrary to the National Voter Registration Act, which she said pre-empts state law.
In the statement, Crouse contends the federal law doesn’t pre-empt state law and that the state law doesn’t curtail any citizen’s rights under the Constitution.
The next step in the appeal would likely be for Crouse to file extensive legal arguments for the appeals court to overturn Robinson’s decision. The ACLU would then file its response.