Kris Kobach’s office delays compliance with court order, questions the meaning of “immediately”
The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach had failed to comply with a federal court decision handed down on Monday. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson permanently blocks the enforcement of his signature voter suppression law, which requires proof of citizenship from voters when they register. Robinson found that the measure runs afoul of the National Voter Registration Act as well as the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.
Mark Johnson, a professor at University of Kansas Law School and partner at Dentons who successfully challenged the Kansas law on constitutional grounds, said on Wednesday that he doubted Robinson would sanction Kobach over his delay. But he noted that Kobach’s official guidance may not comply fully with the court order. While the guidance told election officials not to ask for proof of citizenship, it noted that, if a voter provided it voluntarily, officials should make a copy of it “for tracking purposes.” While it’s unclear what precisely that means, Johnson said, “I think Robinson would be surprised to see that provision.”