Archive for Tuesday, January 24, 2017

ACLU seeks copy of Kobach’s proposed changes to U.S. election law

President-elect Donald Trump pauses to pose for photographs as he greets Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, in Bedminster, N.J.. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President-elect Donald Trump pauses to pose for photographs as he greets Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, in Bedminster, N.J.. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

January 24, 2017, 11:42 a.m. Updated January 24, 2017, 12:20 p.m.


— The American Civil Liberties Union asked a federal court to force Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to turn over proposed changes to the nation's voter registration law that the conservative Republican was photographed bringing to a meeting in November with Donald Trump.

That draft document — which is partially obscured by Kobach's left arm and hand in the photograph taken by The Associated Press — is being sought as part of the ACLU's lawsuit challenging Kansas' restrictive voter registration law. The ALCU filed its request for the proposed amendments late Monday.

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

The ACLU contends the photographed document is relevant to its lawsuit because lobbying by Kobach to change the central provisions of the National Voter Registration Act may show that there's no problem with noncitizen registration in the state.

The ACLU argued that the proposal could provide "key evidence" that Kobach cannot rebut the presumption that existing federal law that requires people registering to vote to attest under penalty of law that they're citizens is enough. Kansas requires people to provide documents, such as a birth certificate, naturalization certificate or U.S. passport.

Kobach's attorney argued in a Jan. 20 email to the ACLU that the document is subject to "executive privilege" because "it was created and is maintained in Kobach's capacity as a Trump advisor."

"Additionally, to the extent you are now asking about the document seen in that photo, it is clear that the request is designed to harass, as opposed to actually obtain documents relevant to a claim or defense in this case," wrote Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Garrett Roe.

The ACLU argued in its court filing that executive privilege would not apply because Trump was not the president when the document was photographed and Kobach is not a member of the executive branch. It also contended that any "conceivable privilege" would be waived because Kobach permitted the document to be photographed by the media.


MerriAnnie Smith 1 year, 1 month ago

Teach the man that he works for us, not the other way around.

Steve Hicks 1 year, 1 month ago

Presidential Press-Secretary Spicer upped the claimed numbers today: now it's three to five million illegal voters.

But let's take the lower number: it's the figure our Secretary of State Kris Kobach claimed when he met with Trump. Those three million probably aren't evenly distributed by state: the alleged illegal voters are probably more numerous in the southwestern border states (we all know, wink, wink, we're NOT talking about French Canadian illegal-immigrant voters, right ?).

Pew Research said in 2014 that about 75,000 of the US' estimated 11 million illegal immigrants were in Kansas. If three million of the national total voted illegally, that's about 27.2 % of the illegals. If illegals in Kansas voted at the same rate, about 20,400 Kansas votes were cast by illegal immigrants.

Last time I looked, Kris Kobach (the only Secretary of State in America with law-enforcement powers) had prosecuted six illegal voters. I heard recently he's filed charges on a couple more, so it's presumably eight prosecutions now. That's prosecutions: his conviction rate is something less than 50 %.

Weigh the figures in Kobach's favor: let's say he's convicted four illegal voters. Here's the kicker: not one of the people he's prosecuted (much less convicted) is an illegal immigrant. All are white citizens; most are elderly: some are registered Republicans, like Kobach. That means there are STILL 20,400 illegal-immigrant voters in Kansas, and Kobach hasn't been able to catch even one.

Either Kobach is incredibly incompetent...and we should take back the extra power and extra money we gave him to do that job...or Kobach is simply a huge liar about how many illegal voters there really are.

Paul Beyer 1 year, 1 month ago

My vote is he's a "HUGE" liar. But it's telling that even the proven liar, trump wouldn't take him into his administration.

MerriAnnie Smith 1 year, 1 month ago

My guess is that Kobach has such an inflated idea about himself that he wasn't able to kiss Trump's backside enough for the job. Nor is he a billionaire. Remember, most of Trump's choices had enough money to slide some of it into Trump's wallet for their jobs. Kansas likely only has one billionaire and Trump works for him, not the other way around.

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