The new executive director of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), Brian Newby, in January approved Kansas' request for a change on voter registration forms to require residents to provide documents proving that they are U.S. citizens.
The League of Women Voters, along with several other voting rights groups, filed a lawsuit challenging the EAC decision approving requests made by Kansas and two other states to require proof-of-citizenship for voter registration.
The ACLU filed a separate lawsuit against Kansas' requirement that residents present proof of citizenship to register to vote. The lawsuit also challenges the state's plans to remove 30,000 voters from the registration roles because they did not provide proof of citizenship during a required 90-day period.
The Department of Justice indicated that it will side with voting rights groups when the agency on Monday filed a brief arguing that the EAC's decision should be temporarily blocked while the courts assess the case.
Kobach on Saturday said that the Department of Justice opposes the EAC's decision.
"We just heard through back channels, the Department of Justice met with this federal agency, met with the Kansan who heads this federal agency, tried to brow-beat them into changing their mind, and when they said they wouldn’t change their mind, the Department of Justice said we’re not going to defend a federal agency," he said, according to the Lawrence Journal-World.