An attorney for Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says the attorney fees requested by the American Civil Liberties Union for a contempt finding against Kobach are unreasonably high. In the latest filing in a case over the state’s voter registration law, which requires applicants to provide proof of citizenship, Sue Becker argues $50,000 is too costly for a single motion. A federal judge issued the contempt ruling in April, a month after a hearing over the failure of Kobach and his office to comply with her orders in the case.
The judge ordered Kobach’s office to pay the ACLU’s legal fees on the issue, and the ACLU asked for $51,646.16 for 133.5 hours an array of attorneys spent working on the contempt motion. At the high end, the rate for top attorneys was $450 per hour.
… ACLU pressed the issue in 2016, after U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson blocked enforcement of the proof of citizenship requirement pending outcome of the case. She ordered Kobach to instruct counties to send postcards notifying suspended voters they could participate in November elections. Although Kobach has blamed the counties for the failure to carry out the order, the contempt hearing revealed his office didn’t tell the counties to do so.