June 18, 2018

KANSAS CITY — A federal court today struck down Kansas’ documentary proof-of-citizenship law, saying it violated the National Voter Registration Act and the Constitution. The American Civil Liberties Union successfully challenged the measure.

In March, the ACLU and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach squared off in a widely watched federal court trial in this case, Fish v. Kobach, which centered on a law crafted by Kobach that illegally mandated documentary proof of citizenship (like a passport) to register to vote, with the aim of making it harder for people to vote. The three-week trial pulled back the curtain on Kobach’s dangerous lies about voter fraud.

Today the court ruled “that the magnitude of potentially disenfranchised voters impacted by the DPOC law and its enforcement scheme cannot be justified by the scant evidence of noncitizen voter fraud before and after the law was passed.” The court also ordered Kobach to attend several hours of legal training, as a sanction for his “repeated and flagrant violations of discovery and disclosure rules.”

Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, had this reaction to the ruling:

“This decision is a stinging rebuke of Kris Kobach, and the centerpiece of his voter suppression efforts: a show-me-your papers law that has disenfranchised tens of thousands of Kansans. That law was based on a xenophobic lie that noncitizens are engaged in rampant election fraud. The court found that there is 'no credible evidence' for that falsehood, and correctly ruled that Kobach’s documentary proof-of-citizenship requirement violates federal law and the U.S. Constitution.”

The ruling is at: https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/fish-v-kobach-findings-fact-and-conclusions-law

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