Judge Orders Lawyer Behind Voter Fraud Myth To Attend Legal Classes
Kris Kobach, an architect behind the voter fraud myth, has been ordered by a Kansas state Federal Judge to attend legal classes after failing to show even the most basic understanding of legal proceedings.
ThinkProgress reports that Kobach, the man behind a documentary on the “Proof of Citizenship” requirement of the Kansas Secure and Fair Elections (SAFE) Act, was “ordered to attend six hours of continuing legal education classes.”
Kobach attended a trial in March in which he claimed there was proof that a “significant number of non-citzens were registering to vote in Kansas,” according to ThinkProgress. He argued that citizens should be forced to show a passport or birth certificate when registering to vote.
The judge said Kobach “violated basic rules of civil procedure,” and showed a shocking lack of understanding for current voter registration laws in the state.
Kobach is not only a lawyer but also the Kansas Secretary of State.
ACLU To The Rescue
During the case, members of the ACLU argued that the Republican lawmaker’s request disenfranchised eligible voters who are low-income or students. The ACLU said more than 35,000 people in the state would be blocked from voting because of their socio-economic status.
“The court finds no credible evidence that a substantial number of noncitizens registered to vote,” Judge Julie Robinson revealed in her opinon. “Instead, the law has acted as a deterrent to registration and voting for substantially more eligible Kansans than it has prevented ineligible voters from registering to vote.”
In a comedy of errors, Kobach failed to provide a large sample of voter data which led Robinson to write, “The court will not rely on extrapolated numbers from tiny sample sizes and otherwise flawed data.”
This wasn’t the first time Robinson has sanctioned Kobach. In April, he was held in contempt of court for failing to send eligible voters postcards that notified them of their registration status.
At one point, Kobach attempted to have a witness testify to a document that wasn’t in evidence, a move Robinson said violated “Evidence 101.”
“The disclosure violations set forth above document a pattern and practice by Defendant of flaunting disclosure and discovery rules that are designed to prevent prejudice and surprise at trial,” Robinson wrote. “The court ruled on each disclosure issue as it arose, but given the repeated instances involved, and the fact that defendant resisted the court’s rulings by continuing to try to introduce such evidence after exclusion, the court finds that further sanctions are appropriate.”
“It is not clear to the Court whether Defendant repeatedly failed to meet his disclosure obligations intentionally or due to his unfamiliarity with the federal rules,” she wrote. “Therefore, the court finds that an additional sanction is appropriate in the form of Continuing Legal Education. Defendant chose to represent his own office in this matter, and as such, had a duty to familiarize himself with the governing rules of procedure, and to ensure as the lead attorney on this case that his discovery obligations were satisfied despite his many duties as a busy public servant.”
A History Of Voter Suppression
This isn’t the first time the Republican lawmaker has attempted to suppress voters. He previously traveled to Alaska to testify on behalf of photo I.D. laws and to recruit members for his “Kansas Project” also known as the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, which compares state records to find people registered to vote in more than one place.
Republican Lt. Governor Treadwell eventually decided not to support the measure, despite personally recruiting Kobach. It was found that Kobach’s plan would dramatically suppress voting for remote village residents who found it difficult to obtain the required documents necessary to vote.
The attempt to suppress voters in Alaska eventually led to Treadwell denying any recollection of ever talking directly to Kobach
Tossing Out Ballots Throughout Kansas
In perhaps Kobach’s most troubling move to date, in January 2017, Kansas election officials tossed out thousands of uncounted provisional ballots from the November 2016 election. The council maintained that they couldn’t find voting details for the residents in question. However, Kobach’s office failed to compile a count of how many ballots they destroyed or who they belonged to.
The League of Women Voters conducted an investigation and found that at least 8,864 votes were cast aside in 105 counties for a total of more than 1% of area voters.
Leading Trump’s Election Fraud Panel
Despite Kobach’s clear lack of understanding, he was appointed to President Donald Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity on May 11, 2017. Kobach served as vice-chairman behind only Vice President Mike Pence.
The Republican-led commission promised to “review claims of improper registrations and voting, fraudulent registrations and voter suppression.” Kobach was the panels “operational leader.”
Kobach asked states to not only provide the last four digits of each voters social security numbers but also birth dates, felony conviction records, voting histories. Twenty-two states quickly rejected his requests. It was soon revealed that Kobach’s own state of Kansas has laws that forbade them from complying with his overreaching request.
In September 2017, Koback was a member of the legal arm of the Federation For American Immigration Reform which is classified as a “hate group” by the Sothern Poverty Law Center.
The SPLC writes of FAIR:
“FAIR leaders have ties to white supremacist groups and eugenicists and have made many racist statements. Its advertisements have been rejected because of racist content. FAIR’s founder, John Tanton, has expressed his wish that America remain a majority-white population: a goal to be achieved, presumably, by limiting the number of nonwhites who enter the country. One of the group’s main goals is upending the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which ended a decades-long, racist quota system that limited immigration mostly to northern Europeans. FAIR President Dan Stein has called the Act a ‘mistake.'”
Kobach And The Birther Movement
Kobach’s deep-seated hatred seems to run deep. He was an opponent of President Barack Obama and joined the birther movement to prove the 44th POTUS was born in Kenya and therefore not eligible to be President.
Kobach tried to have Obama’s name removed from voter ballots during the President’s 2012 re-election campaign, a move that ultimately failed.
After Obama’s long-form birth certificate was released in 2009, Kobach “joked at a GOP barbecue that Obama and God had something in common because neither has a birth certificate.” He has continued to fight against Obama’s place of birth ever since.
Other Signs Of Racist Motives
In October 2017, Kobach attacked immigrants via a column on Breitbart News. He INCORRECTLY CLAIMED that immigrants are responsible for a disproportionate share of crimes. His claim was quickly rebuked after studies clearly showed that immigrants are LESS LIKELY to commit crimes than U.S. Nationals.
How did Kobach arrive at his findings? He reported a study from Peter Gemma, a man largely responsible for creating fake students for the white supremacists and the American Holocaust denial movement.
Ripping Off Veterans
After the Better Business Bureau gave an “F” rating to a group called “Veterans in Defense of Liberty (VIDOL) in February 7, 2018, it was revealed that Kobach, with no military background, joined the group’s advisory board six years prior.
The group, registered as a 501(c)(4) organization, was supposed to raise money for veterans causes. Instead, 94% of all money raised was given to American Targeted Advertising, a group that mailed solicitations for donations.
Kobach claimed it was the first he had heard “that the organization hasn’t been a good steward of its resources.” He said a further investigation was needed to see if he would sever ties with the agency.