reporter's notebook

Incompetence Continues On Day 3 Of The Kobach Voting Rights Trial

Secretary of State Kris Kobach talks with a reporter in his office in Topeka, Kan., Wednesday, May 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
In this Wednesday, May 17, 2017 photo, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach talks with a reporter in his office in Topeka, Kan. Kobach has been picked by President Donald J. Trump to help lead a new commission on el... In this Wednesday, May 17, 2017 photo, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach talks with a reporter in his office in Topeka, Kan. Kobach has been picked by President Donald J. Trump to help lead a new commission on election fraud. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner) MORE LESS
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March 8, 2018 9:55 p.m.

It’s hard to overstate the incompetence emanating from the Kobach legal team, though today it seemed like they were making fewer mistakes than in days previous days. (Sue Becker, an attorney in Kobach’s office who had some of the issues in the first two days, didn’t do much, if any, of the questioning today.)

There was, notably, the blow up from the judge when Kobach’s team tried to use numbers in questioning a witness that the judge had already blocked them from submitting earlier in trial — Kobach’s team had sent the judge the numbers past the deadline.

The trial continues to move slowly, but it’s not just the run-ins with the judge that are making it drag. Kobach’s lawyers have, at various points, had to slow the proceedings because they can’t find a document they’re looking for, or because they’re having trouble figuring out how to frame a question. Where they’re going with their questions is also tough to follow.

By comparison, the ACLU team is extremely organized and usually just rattles down their list of questions in an organized fashion. Mark Johnson, representing the other set of plaintiffs, asks his questions in a more conversational style — but you can tell he knows where he’s going.

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