Archive for Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Kobach files answer after court enters default judgment in Kansas voting rights case

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach responds to questions outside the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after delivering an argument in the legal fight over how the state of Kansas enforces its proof-of-citizenship requirement for voters who register at motor vehicle offices on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016 in Denver.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach responds to questions outside the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after delivering an argument in the legal fight over how the state of Kansas enforces its proof-of-citizenship requirement for voters who register at motor vehicle offices on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016 in Denver.

October 12, 2016, 9:27 a.m. Updated October 12, 2016, 10:25 a.m.

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— A federal court clerk entered a default judgment Tuesday against Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach for failing to file a timely response to a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a state law requiring prospective voters to prove they are U.S. citizens.

Late Tuesday, an attorney for Kobach filed a formal answer, but it's not clear whether U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson will accept Kobach's filing. Attorneys challenging the law's constitutionality said judges often do.

If the judgment stands it would apply to all voters in all federal, state and local elections — effectively ending the state's proof-of-citizenship requirement.

Kobach faces four separate lawsuits challenging various aspects of Kansas' voter registration law. The law, which went into effect in January 2013, requires prospective voters to submit documentary proof of citizenship such as a birth certificate, U.S. passport or naturalization papers.

Kobach, a conservative Republican, has championed the proof-of-citizenship requirement as an anti-fraud measure that keeps non-citizens from voting, including immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. Critics say such requirements suppress voter turnout, particularly among young and minority voters, and that there have been few cases of fraud in the past.

"Oftentimes judges will give an attorney who has not filed something in a timely manner another chance," said Paul Davis, an attorney for the voter who brought the lawsuit. "We will have to see whether Judge Robinson is willing to do that in this case."

Kobach could ask the judge to set aside the clerk's action, possibly on grounds that include "excusable neglect," said Mark Johnson, another attorney for the voter.

But if the clerk's action stands, it means the proof-of-citizenship requirement can't be enforced, Johnson said.

The lawsuit contends the requirement violates voters' constitutional right to right to due legal process and the right to freely travel from state to state by infringing on people's ability to vote and to sign petitions. It also contends the actions Kobach has taken to verify citizenship status discriminates against people who were born or got married in other states.

Comments

Michael Kort 1 year, 1 month ago

It's not Kobachs fault that he missed the deadline to file a timely response to a voter law suit and ended up with a default court voter judgement against the state .

Why did this happen ?

Why,, the dog ate his homework !

Why, Democrats must have stolen his papers right before his last chance to appear and present them ?

Why, The Devil Made Him FIle It Too Late !....... To Meet The Courts Deadline.......... so it is not his fault.... because he is a victum of the arbitrary deadlines set by the court system ( and the Devil ) who are out to get him and his homie Spiritual Sam The Scam .

Just another Koback trick up his sleeve routine to drag it all out and play the victum when the real victums are those who's voting rights he Is messing with .

His only scores on catching illegal voters have been aging old Republicans who are probably too senile to be criminally intended who voted in two states where they have property .

Greg Cooper 1 year, 1 month ago

I can only hope that the court gives Kobach no more chances. He had his opportunity, he had no cogent arguments, and showed his contempt for the court's rulings, just as this Regressive administration has shown its contempt of propriety in so many ways.

Throw the book at him, Judge. Make these thugs know that they can't run rough shod over the law and get away with it.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 year, 1 month ago

He is too busy supporting Trump and writing other unconstitutional laws for other states. And I'm sure he is chasing down all those undocumented people who voted in the primary /sarcasm alert/.

Calvin Anders 1 year, 1 month ago

I agree with Greg. The whole idea of Kobach's proof of citizenship laws was a transparent political effort to limit legitimate voter turnout. When someone tries to manipulate the law for political ends, they should not be given extra leeway to extend their efforts. A judge's discretion should only extend a deadline if a case merits more careful scrutiny AND there are good reasons for missing the deadline.

Jonathan Becker 1 year, 1 month ago

Don't get your hopes up that the default judgment will stand. All KKK has to do is show "good cause" which is a liberal and mutable standard. He will have to show mistake, inadvertence, surprise, excusable neglect, newly discovered evidence, fraud, judgment is void, OR judgment is satisfied AND some other reason to set aside a default judgment. Vacation or calendaring errors could be acceptable other reasons.. If it is a close call, the court should err and permit his late answer to stand and order the judgment to be set aside.

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