A federal judge on Tuesday denied Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s request to reconsider a magistrate judge’s sanctions, finding Kobach has shown a pattern of misleading the court in a voting-rights case. In a ruling issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson refused Kobach’s request to reconsider a $1,000 fine issued by U.S. Magistrate Judge James O’Hara, as well as O’Hara’s order that Kobach submit to a deposition in an ongoing case between the secretary of state and the American Civil Liberties Union over Kansas’ requirement of proof of citizenship for registered voters. O’Hara sanctioned Kobach for misleading the court regarding the nature of voting-policy documents he was photographed with in a November meeting with President Donald Trump. The top sheet of the documents visibly showed suggested policy changes to the National Voter Registration Act which had been requested by the ACLU. After a review, O’Hara ordered Kobach to hand over the documents after finding them relevant to the case.
Kobach fought the order, arguing they were protected by Trump’s executive privilege and attorney-client privilege since an attorney in Kobach’s office had seen them. When he did hand them over, he marked the documents as confidential, a classification the ACLU is currently trying to overturn in an effort to make them public.
In her ruling, Robinson used three examples of Kobach’s previous behavior to chide him for habitually making misleading statements.
“While these examples do not form the basis for any sanctions award imposed by Judge O’Hara, they do demonstrate a pattern, which gives further credence to Judge O’Hara’s conclusion that a sanctions award is necessary to deter defense counsel in this case from misleading the court about the facts and record in the future,” Robinson wrote.
Full Article: Judge OKs Sanction of Kobach in Voting-Rights Case.