January 3, 2018

NEW YORK — A federal court ruled that trial is slated to begin on March 6 in the American Civil Liberties Union’s challenge to voting obstacles in Kansas. The case is Fish v. Kobach.

The ACLU is representing Kansans who tried to register to vote via the state Division of Vehicles but were illegally forced to provide additional documentation of U.S. citizenship, in violation of the National Voter Registration Act.

More than 17,000 people were impeded from registering to vote in what a federal district judge has called “a confusing and inconsistently-enforced maze.” In 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that the Kansas law had caused the “mass denial of a fundamental constitutional right” and blocked the law while the case is litigated. The court order blocking the Kansas law remains in effect pending the outcome of the trial this spring.

Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, said:

“Kris Kobach has repeatedly tried to disenfranchise Kansans, and the courts have repeatedly blocked his attempts. We look forward to showing yet again how Kobach’s actions undermine voters and are illegal.”

The court’s ruling today also prohibits Kobach from offering testimony from Hans von Spakovsky — a member of President Trump’s so-called Commission on Election Integrity — on certain subjects. Kobach sought to have von Spakovsky testify about whether the Kansas law places burdens on voters, but the court held that “It is clear that von Spakovsky is not qualified to testify as an expert” about data on that topic.

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