Trump’s failed voter suppression chief forced to pay ACLU’s legal fees
A federal judge found Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in contempt of court for ignoring her previous orders. And she ordered him to pay the ACLU’s legal fees stemming from the hearings.
Trump’s voter suppression czar Kris Kobach just got hit with a double whammy in federal court. Republican U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson found the Kansas secretary of state in contempt of court for failing to comply with her 2016 preliminary injunction against his voter ID scheme.
And on top of that, she directed him to pay the ACLU’s legal fees stemming from the organization’s motion filing.
Kobach has worked for years to push burdensome ID requirements on voters. His scheme has led to more than 36,000 Kansans being shunted from the voter rolls, often without realizing it until they went to the polls.
The Kansas law implemented far stricter requirements for proof of citizenship than most states require. And voters were often not told that they were missing required documentation at the time of registering. They would show up at the polls, only to be told they were not on the rolls and could only vote with a provisional ballot.
Robinson had already reprimanded Kobach for “a number of procedural missteps” in the landmark voting rights case. In March, she slammed him for failing to properly comply with the injunction and to ensure that people knew they were eligible to vote. Kobach had assured her that the affected voters would receive the usual postcard letting them know where and when to cast their ballots.
But apparently, all he did was have his office give oral instructions to county clerks to send the postcards. He claimed he couldn’t force them to do so.
Robinson wasn’t having it. She handed down the contempt finding, citing Kobach’s “history of noncompliance and disrespect for the court’s decisions.”
And because the ACLU had been forced by his inaction to file the motion, Robinson also ordered Kobach to pay the group’s attorney fees.
Kobach’s behavior and his total disregard for the rule of law are atrocious. But they also make it clear why Trump wanted him on the so-called “Election Integrity Commission” with Mike Pence.
Both Kobach and Trump continue to chase the fever dream of rampant voter fraud. Kobach’s Interstate Crosscheck System erroneously purged millions from voter rolls in multiple states. And Trump, of course, still clings to his fantasy that “millions and millions” of people voted illegally in 2016.
Neither man let the fact that Trump was forced to dissolve the commission because states refused to go along with its nonsense sway them from their beliefs.
Indeed, Kobach likely won’t give up his voter suppression crusade even after the contempt finding and having to cut a check to the ACLU. But his efforts will continue to be beaten down by judges who see through his charade.
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