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Tierney Sneed

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.

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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:

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A question lingering for months about President Trump’s now-defunct voter fraud commission and its cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security may now be answered, thanks to a judge’s order in a lawsuit against the commission, which was disbanded last week.

With the announcement of the commission’s dissolution, Trump, its vice chair Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and the White House have suggested that the DHS would take over the commission’s work, which included a controversial request for state voter roll information.

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Now that President Trump has dissolved his shady voter fraud commission, a Supreme Court case being heard Wednesday represents fraud alarmists’ next best chance to boost their voter purge campaigns.

The case, Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, is a challenge to Ohio’s scheme for purging people who haven’t voted recently from the voter rolls, a scheme the state implemented under pressure from conservative legal activists, including one who later joined the Trump voter fraud commission.

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Two Republicans leading the Senate Judiciary Committee probe into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election have referred to the Justice Department for criminal charges the ex-British spy who compiled a dossier alleging ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.

The move was first reported by the New York Times and quickly confirmed with a press release from Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who chairs a Judiciary subcommittee. It comes as the congressional committees probing Russia have become increasingly partisan, and President Trump himself has made wild claims the dossier was evidence of Democratic collusion with Russia and the FBI to smear his presidency.

In a letter dated Thursday and sent Friday to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray, the senators claimed to have evidence that the ex-spy, Christopher Steele had violated a law prohibiting the making of false or misleading statements to federal authorities.

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Federal law enforcement authorities are actively investigating the Clinton Foundation and whether former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton exchanged policy favors or special access for contributions to the charity, the Hill reported and CNN confirmed.

The move comes as President Trump has long called for prosecution of Clinton, his rival in the 2016 election, and GOP lawmakers since have echoed his demands for more Clinton investigations as the Russia probe of Trump and his own campaign heats up.

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A federal judge on Thursday denied a request by Fusion GPS, the private intelligence firm behind the so-called Trump dossier, to block a subpoena issued by the House Intelligence Committee on the firm’s bank for certain financial records.

In court filings Friday morning, Fusion GPS indicated that it planned to appeal the decision and asked the judge, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon, to put Thursday’s order on hold.

Leon, in his opinion Thursday, brushed aside the concern Fusion GPS raised that the committee would leak its clients’ confidential information, and said the subpoena did not constitute a First Amendment violation, as Fusion GPS had argued.

Leon also rejected the firm’s claims that the subpoena was overly broad and that it had been issued outside of the committee’s rules.

“Because the Committee possesses the power to investigate Russian active measures directed at the 2016 Presidential election, and there is a reasonable possibility that the records requested will contain information relevant to that investigation, the Subpoena is not impermissibly broad, even if the records turn out to be unfruitful avenues of investigation,” Leon wrote.

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To hear Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach tell it, President Trump’s move to dissolve his voter fraud commission and shift its work to the Department of Homeland Security was actually an own on the libs — who effectively sued the commission into oblivion.

“The investigations will continue now, they won’t be able to stall it through litigation,” Kobach bragged to Breitbart. However the DHS itself is distancing itself from Kobach, who as vice-chair of the commission sought to continue his crusade to gin up fears of mass voter fraud, and the White House hasn’t be able to supply much information in terms of next steps.

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An effort by conservatives to move states away from drawing districts using total population — with a lawsuit civil rights advocates said was designed to dilute the political power of minorities — seemed all but dead a year ago, after the Supreme Court ruled 8-0 against their argument.

However, should the Trump Justice Department get its way in a new push to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census, it could breathe new life into the effort. The result could be that some states draw their legislative districts in ways that reduce the voting power of minority communities and boost the power of white ones

As first reported by ProPublica, the Justice Department in a letter last month asked the Census Bureau to include a question about citizenship on its questionnaire. Civil rights groups, social scientists and even Census Bureau officials themselves have said that doing so threatens to depress census participation in immigrant communities. Undercounting those populations will bring about a host of repercussions, given the various uses of census data.

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The hard-line Kansas Secretary of State who led President Trump’s now-defunct voter fraud commission says its work will be taken over by the Department of Homeland Security, in what he calls a “tactical shift.”

“What’s happening is a tactical shift where the mission of the commission is being handed off to Homeland Security without the stonewalling by Democrats,” Kris Kobach, a champion of restrictive voting laws, told Breitbart News.

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In a surprise move, President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced that he was dissolving the bogus voter fraud commission he created after claiming without evidence that “millions” of people voted illegally in 2016.

“Despite substantial evidence of voter fraud, many states have refused to provide the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity with basic information relevant to its inquiry,” Trump said in a statement via the White House press secretary. “Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense, today I signed an executive order to dissolve the Commission, and have asked the Department of Homeland Security to review these issues and determine next courses of action.”

The commission had faced numerous lawsuits, including from one of its own commissioners, since its creation last May. It was vice-chaired by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), who is known for pushing restrictive voting laws.

Civil rights groups worried that it would be use as a pretext to push for voting restrictions that would disproportionately disenfranchise minority voters, while privacy groups object to Kobach’s request for state voter roll information.

The commission met publicly only twice, in July and in September, while Democratic commissioner Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap alleged in a lawsuit that he had been cut out of its internal operations.

Read the full executive order below:

EXECUTIVE ORDER

– – – – – – –

TERMINATION OF PRESIDENTIAL

ADVISORY COMMISSION ON ELECTION INTEGRITY

     By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

     Section 1.  Executive Order 13799 of May 11, 2017 (Establishment of Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity), is hereby revoked, and the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity is accordingly terminated.

     Sec2.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

     (b)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

     (c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party (other than by the United States) against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

                                DONALD J. TRUMP

THE WHITE HOUSE,

    January 3, 2018.

 

 

 

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