Kris Kobach

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Kansas: Appellate court rejects Kobach’s request to block Douglas County grand jury probe | Lawrence Journal-World

The Kansas Court of Appeals on Wednesday rejected Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s request for a new hearing to decide whether a grand jury should be called to investigate his office for allegedly mishandling voter registrations. But Kobach’s office has already asked the Kansas Supreme Court to review the matter, a motion that could postpone any action in the matter until after the Aug. 7 primary election, in which Kobach is seeking the Republican nomination for governor. Steven X. Davis, a Democratic candidate running for the 45th District House seat in Douglas County, filed petitions last year seeking to call a citizen-initiated grand jury, which is allowed under Kansas law. Davis has alleged that Kobach, or others in the office, engaged in “destroying, obstructing, or failing to deliver online voter registration,” as well as possessing falsely made or altered registration books, preventing qualified electors from voting and “being grossly neglectful with respect to their election duties.”

Full Article: Appellate court rejects Kobach’s request to block Douglas County grand jury probe | News, Sports, Jobs - Lawrence Journal-World: news, information, headlines and events in Lawrence, Kansas.

Kansas: With Elections Looming, ACLU Scrambles To Check If Kobach Registered Voters | KMUW

With less than a month until the 2018 primaries, the question of whether Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is in compliance with a federal court order to fix its voter registration practices is still up for debate. Kansas can no longer ask would-be voters to dig up documents like passports or birth certificates after a court ruled that unconstitutional and in violation of federal election law last month. Judge Julie Robinson ordered Kobach’s office to make sure that tens of thousands of previously blocked voters are now on the active voter rolls.

Full Article: With Elections Looming, ACLU Scrambles To Check If Kobach Registered Voters | KMUW.

Kansas: Kobach to judge: Kansas now in full compliance with voting rights ruling | Lawrence Journal-World

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has complied with a judge’s order by fully registering thousands of voters whose eligibility to cast a ballot had been in limbo because of the state’s now-defunct proof-of-citizenship requirement, according to court records. Some 25,000 Kansans will have their voting status solidified ahead of the Aug. 7 primary as a result of the move. Kobach is seeking the Republican nomination for governor in that election, challenging incumbent Jeff Colyer. According to a report the parties in the case jointly filed Sunday, Kobach told U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson that there are no longer any Kansas registrations in suspense or canceled for lack of citizenship documents. He informed Robinson that he is in full compliance with her order that all registrants receive the same information from county election offices and vote using the same poll books.

Full Article: Kobach to judge: Kansas now in full compliance with voting rights ruling | News, Sports, Jobs - Lawrence Journal-World: news, information, headlines and events in Lawrence, Kansas.

Kansas: Attorney General takes over appeal of Kobach’s voting rights case | Lawrence Journal-World

Gov. Jeff Colyer said Thursday that he thinks the state has a good chance of winning an appeal of a federal court ruling striking down a state law requiring people to show proof of U.S. citizenship to register to vote, especially now that Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s office has taken over the case. “I think the attorney general will do a fine job, and I intend to win this. I think it’s an opportunity for us to win this thing,” Colyer told reporters Thursday.

Full Article: Kansas AG takes over appeal of Kobach’s voting rights case; governor says state intends to win | News, Sports, Jobs - Lawrence Journal-World: news, information, headlines and events in Lawrence, Kansas.

Kansas: Kris Kobach won’t represent himself during appeal | The Kansas City Star

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is no longer representing himself in a federal lawsuit over the state’s voter registration law that he lost after being found in contempt of court. Court documents show Kansas Solicitor General Toby Crouse will argue the case at the appeal stage. Crouse filed a notice this week on Kobach’s behalf saying he intends to appeal after Judge Julie Robinson ruled unconstitutional a state law requiring people to show proof of citizenship in order to register to vote.

Full Article: Kris Kobach won't represent himself during appeal | The Kansas City Star.

Kansas: State may be on hook for more costs in voting rights case | Associated Press

The ruling that struck down the state’s proof-of-citizenship voter registration law leaves Kansas potentially on the hook to pay attorney’s fees and costs for the winning side. U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson granted Monday a joint request asking her to hold off awarding all fees and related expenses until appeals have been exhausted.

National: Judge: Trump Fraud Panel Docs Must Be Turned Over To Member Who Sued | TPM

Nearly six months after President Trump, citing growing litigation, dissolved his sketchy voter fraud commission, a federal judge in Washington said Wednesday that certain commission documents should be turned over to one of its commissioners, who sued last year over the panel’s lack of transparency. U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly had previously ordered in late December that the commissioner, Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap (D), receive the documents, including internal communications, that he was requesting. About two weeks after her order, the commission folded, but the legal fight over his case has continued. The judge said Wednesday that the commission must turn over the documents that were covered in her Dec. 22 order by July 18. The judge said that she had not “considered line-by-line the documents requested by Plaintiff.” But she pointed to the documents referenced in an index of commission-related communications, which was provided in a separate lawsuit, as an example of what she was expecting to be turned over.

Full Article: Judge: Trump Voter Fraud Panel Docs Must Be Turned Over To Member Who Sued – Talking Points Memo.

Kansas: Kobach asks for new hearing in local effort to summon grand jury to investigate his office / Lawrence Journal World

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is asking a state appellate court for a new hearing to determine whether the Douglas County District Court should be required to summon a citizen-initiated grand jury to investigate allegations that his office has mishandled voter registration applications. Kobach filed the petition Friday, which was the deadline to ask for a rehearing in the case. Steven X. Davis, a Lawrence resident who is running as a Democrat for a seat in the Kansas House, had filed petitions in August 2017 calling for a grand jury to investigate general allegations that Kobach’s office had mismanaged the state’s voter registration system and had been “grossly neglectful with respect to their election duties.” Kansas is one of only six states that allows citizen-initiated grand juries.

Full Article: Kobach asks for new hearing in local effort to summon grand jury to investigate his office / LJWorld.com.

Kansas: Security Concerns Stall Kris Kobach’s Controversial Voter Tracking Program in Kansas | KMUW

A massive voter-tracking program run by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach — which purports to help states keep voter rolls accurate — has halted operations over concerns about its own accuracy and security. The Interstate Crosscheck system, which Kobach’s office promised would be working ahead of the 2018 elections, has been sidelined while the U.S. Department of Homeland Security conducts a security assessment following the unintended release of hundreds of voters’ private information. Each year, the Crosscheck program compares voter registration lists from more than two dozen states, searching for duplicate names. The stated goal is to prevent people from voting in more than one state and eliminate voter fraud — although being registered to vote in two states is not illegal. Crosscheck then sends a list of duplicate names to each participating state, the first step in a long process of voter list maintenance.

Full Article: Security Concerns Stall Kris Kobach’s Controversial Voter Tracking Program in Kansas | KMUW.

Kansas: Kobach Finally Tells Clerks To Comply With Court Order On Proof-of-Citizenship | TPM

After two days of confusion — with some but not all county election officials enforcing a Kansas voting restriction struck down by a federal judge Monday — the Kansas Secretary of State’s office instructed local officials Wednesday that proof-of-citizenship was not required to register to vote. The instructions marked the end — or at least a pause — in a years-long saga of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach fighting tooth and nail to keep his signature voter restriction alive, despite multiple court rulings against it. U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson issued her order Monday, after a seven-day trial in March, declaring the proof-of-citizenship requirement a violation of both the National Voter Registration Act as well as the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.

Full Article: Kobach Finally Tells Clerks To Comply With Court Order On Proof-of-Citizenship – Talking Points Memo.

Kansas: How the Case for Voter Fraud Was Tested — and Utterly Failed | ProPublica

In the end, the decision seemed inevitable. After a seven-day trial in Kansas City federal court in March, in which Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach needed to be tutored on basic trial procedure by the judge and was found in contempt for his “willful failure” to obey a ruling, even he knew his chances were slim. Kobach told The Kansas City Star at the time that he expected the judge would rule against him (though he expressed optimism in his chances on appeal). Sure enough, yesterday federal Judge Julie Robinson overturned the law that Kobach was defending as lead counsel for the state, dealing him an unalloyed defeat. The statute, championed by Kobach and signed into law in 2013, required Kansans to present proof of citizenship in order to register to vote. The American Civil Liberties Union sued, contending that the law violated the National Voter Registration Act (AKA the “motor voter” law), which was designed to make it easy to register.

Full Article: How the Case for Voter Fraud Was Tested — and Utterly… — ProPublica.

Kansas: Judge rejects Kansas voter law, orders classes for Kobach | The Wichita Eagle

A federal judge has struck down a Kansas voter citizenship law that Secretary of State Kris Kobach had personally defended. Judge Julie Robinson also ordered Kobach, who is seeking the Republican nomination for governor, to take more hours of continuing legal education after he was found in contempt and was frequently chided during the trial over missteps. In an 118-page ruling Monday, Robinson ordered a halt to the state’s requirement that people provide proof of citizenship in order to register to vote. The decision holds the potential to make registration easier as the August and November elections approach. Robinson’s ruling amounted to a takedown of the law that Kobach had championed and lawmakers approved several years ago. She found that it “disproportionately impacts duly qualified registration applicants, while only nominally preventing noncitizen voter registration.”

Full Article: Judge rejects Kansas voter law, orders classes for Kobach | The Wichita Eagle.

Kansas: SOS Kris Kobach’s office paid $1,000 fine in federal case with state-issued credit card | The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach used state tax dollars to comply with a federal magistrate’s order to pay a $1,000 fine for misleading the court about documents in a folder he carried into a meeting with Donald Trump shortly after the Republican was elected president. U.S. Magistrate Judge James O’Hara levied the penalty against Kobach after concluding he made “patently misleading characterizations” to the court about materials he carried into the Trump meeting in late 2016. The judge urged the secretary of state to avoid making unsupportable positions in such matters because it “it hurts his or her credibility when the court considers arguments” on more complex matters. Micah Kubic, executive director of the ACLU of Kansas, said three weeks ago Kobach had paid the penalty “out of his own pocket.” However, a Kansas Open Records Act request of the Kansas Department of Administration produced records Friday showing the payment was processed July 21, 2017, with a credit card issued by the state to Craig McCullah, who at that time was deputy assistant secretary of state under Kobach and is now seeking the Republican Party’s nomination as secretary of state.

Full Article: SOS Kris Kobach's office paid $1,000 fine in federal case with state-issued credit card - News - The Topeka Capital-Journal - Topeka, KS.

Kansas: Kobach attorney says ACLU fees for contempt are redundant, excessive | The Topeka Capital-Journal

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.

Full Article: Kobach attorney says ACLU fees for contempt are redundant, excessive - News - The Topeka Capital-Journal - Topeka, KS.

Kansas: Appeals Court Bats Down Kobach Request To Overturn Contempt Finding | TPM

An appeals court dismissed Tuesday a request by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to overturn a federal judge’s finding that he was in contempt of court. The three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in its dismissal that Kobach had appealed the contempt finding prematurely. “Although the district court stated that it was imposing sanctions, specific sanctions have not yet been imposed,” the judges wrote. “Here, not only has the district court not issued findings of fact and conclusions of law or final judgment, the district court has not determined a discernable amount of sanctions.”

Full Article: Appeals Court Bats Down Kobach Request To Overturn Contempt Finding – Talking Points Memo.

Kansas: ACLU asks Kobach to correct online information for Kansas voters | Topeka Capital-Journal

The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday asked Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to correct voting information on state and county websites or risk further legal action. Kobach fought ACLU in a trial in March over the state’s proof of citizenship requirement in voter registrations. U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson blocked enforcement of the law pending outcome of the case, then found Kobach to be in contempt for failing to comply with her orders. In a letter emailed to Kobach, ACLU points out multiple online references that erroneously say voters must prove their citizenship before voting. ACLU asks for changes to four sections of the secretary of state’s website, as well as information found on Douglas, Riley and Crawford county websites. ACLU attorney Dale Ho said Kobach “should have taken care of all of this long ago.”

Full Article: ACLU asks Kobach to correct online information for Kansas voters.

Kansas: ACLU seeks $51K for fight with Kobach that led to contempt finding | Topeka Capital-Journal

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.

Full Article: ACLU seeks $51K for fight with Kobach that led to contempt finding.

Kansas: Kobach can use state money to pay contempt costs | The Kansas City Star

Kansas lawmakers have abandoned an effort to force Secretary of State Kris Kobach to pay out of his own pocket the costs of being held in contempt of court. The decision ended a looming showdown between Kobach and the Legislature over who is on the hook financially. Kobach was dressed down by a federal judge during a civil trial over voter rights and ordered to pay attorney fees for the plaintiffs in the case. The Legislature’s decision to drop the effort means Kobach will be able to use state money to pay any fines stemming from being found in contempt. During negotiations over the state budget, lawmakers on Tuesday removed a prohibition on using state money to pay for contempt fines or defend himself against contempt. The House had approved the rule last week. Lawmakers negotiating a final deal on the budget removed the prohibition after a letter from Kobach’s office to top Republicans contending the ban would be illegal became public.

Full Article: Kobach can use state money to pay contempt costs | The Kansas City Star.

Kansas: Kobach’s office: Stopping him from paying contempt fine with state money ‘illegal’ | The Kansas City Star

Kris Kobach’s office says a House effort to stop him from using state money to pay fines for being found in contempt of court is illegal. A top lawyer in the secretary of state’s office condemned the Republican-controlled House’s decision to put the prohibition in its most recent budget. In a letter to legislative leaders obtained by McClatchy, senior counsel Sue Becker raised potential problems with the budget requirement. “(The) proviso is illegal and would require the State to expend significant resources in any futile attempt to defend it,” the letter says.

Full Article: Kobach’s office: Stopping him from paying contempt fine with state money ‘illegal’ | The Kansas City Star.

Kansas: House votes against state money for Kobach for contempt case | The Kansas City Star

A move by a Kansas House Republican would keep GOP Secretary of State Kris Kobach from using state money to pay for being found in contempt of court. Kobach, who is running for governor, was found in contempt of court by a federal judge earlier this month. The legislation was offered by Rep. Russ Jennings, R-Lakin. He said the move would prohibit using any state money for defense or penalties involved in a finding of a contempt of court by statewide elected officials. That would include the governor and the secretary of state. “You pay your own bills if you get yourself in that kind of trouble,” Jennings said. The change passed, 103-16. The overall budget bill that includes the prohibition is still a ways from making it to Gov. Jeff Colyer’s desk.

Full Article: House votes against state money for Kobach for contempt case | The Kansas City Star.