A federal judge has ordered the Kansas secretary of state to appear at a Friday hearing. The reason? He allegedly violated a court order in an ongoing voting-rights lawsuit, and now he has to convince the judge he isn’t in contempt of court.
From the Wichita Eagle:
Judge Julie Robinson scheduled the contempt hearing after a filing by the American Civil Liberties Union last week. The filing alleges that Kobach has failed to comply with the judge’s May order to register about 18,000 people who registered to vote at the Department of Motor Vehicles but did not provide proof of citizenship.
These voters were allowed to cast provisional ballots in the August primary, but Kobach has not added them to the state’s voter registration list.
This lawsuit centers on a stringent “voter fraud” law Kobach enthusiastically backed. Under the law, Kansans have to submit proof of citizenship in addition to completing the standard federal form for voter registration. But not everyone could provide the forms of ID that the state required, so the ACLU filed suit, arguing that the state had effectively disenfranchised valid voters.
It’s no surprise that Kobach is reluctant to comply with the court’s order: He’s an infamous nativist and a proud member of Donald Trump’s gallery of rogues. He even told the press in April that he helped draft the candidate’s infamous border wall plan. Even though study after study shows that voter fraud is nearly non-existent in the U.S., it’s still a useful political bugbear for Kobach, Trump, and their fellow ethno-nationalists.