Judge finds Kansas' Kris Kobach at contempt of Courtroom

State Kris Kobach

Robinson says Kobach, now the Kansas Secretary of State, refused to update language on his office's website which indicated that new voter applicants may not have that right after the November 2016 elections.

The would-be voters submitted their applications at DMV offices, without providing documentary proof of citizenship, like a birth certificate or passport, as required by the state law Kobach argues Kansas needs to prevent voter fraud. She didn't impose a fine but ordered Kobach to pay for damages, including attorney fees.

"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", Robinson wrote in her order.

"He admitted several times during the hearing that he understood the Court's order meant he was to treat those covered by the preliminary injunction the same as all other registered voters, which included sending the standard postcard upon registration", Robinson said in Wednesday'sorder.

Wednesday was pretty bad for Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

In her ruling, U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson in Kansas City, Kan., referred repeatedly to Kobach as acting "disingenuously".

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Robinson said she did not find it credible that Kobach's office had orally instructed officials to send out the postcards.

"The Court is troubled by (Kobach's) failure to take responsibility for violating this Court's orders, and for failing to ensure compliance over an issue that he explicitly represented to the court had been accomplished", Robinson wrote.

Kobach assured the judge he will send postcards, which hold information about polling stations, to affected voters but they were never sent.

In May 2016, Robinson ordered Kobach to stop enforcing the controversial proof-of-citizenship requirement.

But Kobach also didn't update the state's election manual to reflect that people didn't have to prove their citizenship to register to vote, leaving state election officials without clear guidance to inform confused constituents. Kobach's office said after the trial that it had given written orders to the county officials to send the postcards, but Robinson said on Wednesday that was "too little, too late". The lawsuit Fish v. Kobach is still pending. He had registered in the state two years earlier but was humiliated when he went to vote in the 2014 elections and was told he needed to cast a provisional ballot because he wasn't on the voter rolls.

Kobach could be your front-running Republican candidate for Kansas Parliament, even with ongoing legal battles over the voter registration legislation he has sought to apply as their country's election. Secretary Kobach likes to talk about the rule of law.

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