ACLU Wants Kobach Held In Contempt For Skirting Proof-Of-Citizenship Order

Jacquelyn Martin/AP

The ACLU, in its lawsuit against Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach for his proof-of-citizenship voter registration requirement, signaled it believed Kobach should be held in contempt of court for what the ACLU alleges is his failure to comply with previous orders in the case.

His proof-of-citizenship requirement has been temporarily blocked by the Kansas federal court, with a full trial on the merits of the case scheduled for March. In the meantime, the ACLU asked Kobach to change the state policy manual for county officials to reflect the current state of play, in which voters who registered without proof of citizenship are allowed to register and to vote. The ACLU also asked Kobach to instruct county officials to send voter registrations certificates, which include one’s polling place, to the voters who registered to vote without proof of citizenship.

Kobach has refused on both matters, according to filings by the ACLU. On the former request, the challengers said, his lawyers indicated that he would not change the policy manual until after a final ruling on proof-of-citizenship has been handed down, and if need be, he had the chance to appeal it to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and even to the Supreme Court.

Kansas has also maintained that sending the registration certificates was not necessary because those voters already received a court-ordered notice, according to the filings.

Now the ACLU is asking the court to order Kobach to show cause for why he shouldn’t be held in contempt, or amend its order to make clear Kobach must do the things the ACLU is requesting.

The ACLU previously requested Kobach be sanctioned for misleading the court on a memo he brought with him to meet with President Trump during the transition. The memo proposed changing the National Voter Registration Act, the law that the ACLU says the proof-of-citizenship requirement violates.

The judge scolded Kobach for his “deceptive conduct and lack of candor” and levied a $1,000 fine.

Kobach is also facing a bevy of lawsuits over the President’s recently-disbanded voter fraud commission, which the secretary vice-chaired.

Read the ACLU filing below:

Read the latest editor’s brief (Prime access) on this story »