Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) was held in contempt by a federal judge on Wednesday after repeatedly skirting various court orders related to an already blocked voter registration law.
Kobach is currently a candidate for Kansas governor and was former vice-chair of Trump’s now disbanded “voter fraud” commission. He is among the nation’s most ardent advocates for laws tightening voter registration processes.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson tore into Mr. Kobach for failing to send postcards notifying thousands of voters of their registration.
The reason those post cards were important enough to have been ordered by a judge is that the voters who should have received the postcards had previously been blocked from registering under a since-defunct Kansas state law Kobach had pushed for because they were not able to provide proof of citizenship during registration.
In her order, Judge Robinson wrote:
“Kansans have come to expect these postcards to confirm their registration status, and Defendant ensured the Court on the record that they had been sent prior to the 2016 general election. They were not, and the fact that he sent a different notice to those voters does not wholly remove the contempt, nor does his attempt to resend postcards eighteen months after the election and five months after Plaintiffs notified him of the issue.”
Opponents of laws like the ones championed by Kobach (and Trump’s former “voter fraud” commission) argue that they unnecessarily restrict people from casting ballots, and have failed to prove that voter fraud is a widespread problem. They also disproportionately affect minority voters.
As part of the contempt ruling, Judge Julie Robinson ordered that Kris Kobach pay the attorneys fees of the ACLU, which is the plaintiff in the case.