Lawrence attorney and former Democratic Rep. Paul Davis on Tuesday dismissed suggestions by Republicans that he should recuse himself from a federal lawsuit challenging a controversial state voting law. “These guys either need a good lawyer or they’re trying to mislead you,” Davis said in response to a statement from Kansas GOP Chairman Kelly Arnold. Davis is representing two clients who are challenging a law enacted in 2011 that requires voters to show proof of U.S. citizenship to register. Since that law took effect, more than 30,000 would-be voters have had their registrations placed “in suspense” because they have not provided the required documentation. Davis is also challenging a new administrative regulation that requires county election officers to cancel those applications after 90 days. That new regulation took effect Oct. 2.
… Davis acknowledged that he voted for the bill. (So too, by the way, did Democratic Rep. Barbara Ballard, Republican Rep. Tom Sloan, and Democratic Sens. Marci Francisco and Tom Holland.) He said he supported another provision requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls, but he said he questioned the requirement that voters show proof of citizenship to register.
Davis also said the conflict-of-interest statute does not apply in his case because it refers to lawsuits challenging laws as unconstitutional “because of error in the legislative process.”