Tenth Circuit Affirms Kansas’s Kris Kobach Is NOT GREAT AT LAW

(Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images)

Kris Kobach is a lot of things. He’s a former Kansas Secretary of State, a Breitbart opinion writer, a senate candidate, and he led the president’s spectacularly unsuccessful commission to prove the existence of widespread voter fraud. Kobach marketed his legal services to small towns hoping to implement his handcrafted voter ID laws, only to find themselves stuck with millions of dollars in attorneys fees after courts blocked the statutes as unconstitutional. A graduate of Harvard, Yale, and Oxford, Kobach even managed to lose the 2018 gubernatorial election to a Democrat in blood red Kansas — which is no mean feat!

But Kris Kobach is not a good trial lawyer. And his effort to defend Kansas’s proof of citizenship law in federal court netted him a contempt finding, a judicially mandated stint in remedial legal education, and a $1,000 fine for “deliberately attempting to mislead the court.” A fine which he paid using a state-issued credit card.

The case was a debacle, marked by Kobach’s spectacularly inept attempts to introduce excluded and unsubstantiated evidence at trial and certify partisan hacks as expert witnesses. Unsurprisingly, Kobach got spanked by the ACLU, with the trial judge ruling that Kansas’s proof of citizenship voter ID law disenfranchised 30,000 eligible voters to keep 39 ineligible voters off the rolls, which could not colorably be said to make Kansas’s elections more fair.

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson enjoined the state from forcing voters to prove citizenship with a passport or birth certificate, finding that the requirement violated both the National Voter Registration Act and the Fourteenth Amendment. And yesterday, the Tenth Circuit affirmed Judge Robinson’s decision, upholding her finding that Kansas’s law violates the NVRA.

Naturally, Kris Kobach has #Thoughts.

Why can’t those federal judges learn to law good like Kris Kobach! Why are those darn activist jurists looking at those 30,000 citizens too poor or elderly to afford passports who wouldn’t be able to vote?

It’s a perversion!

“Some of those individuals were not actually U.S. citizens, so they never should have been registered,” Kobach told the Kansas City Star, continuing his tradition of evidence-free assertions. “So for the court to seize on that 30,000 figure shows that the court didn’t actually understand how the law operated.”

It’s not clear whether the state will ask for en banc review or appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court. But if it does, Kobach is sure it will prevail, telling the Star, “The opinion is clearly wrong and I have a high level of confidence that it will be overturned by the Supreme Court if the Attorney General appeals it to the Supreme Court.”

And if Kris Kobach says it, you can take that to the bank. Because that guy’s legal judgment is as sound as the Liberty Bell!

Federal court rejects Kansas’ appeal, says Kobach-crafted law disenfranchised 30,000 [KC Star]

Elizabeth Dye (@5DollarFeminist) lives in Baltimore where she writes about law and politics.

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