Grand jury that would investigate Kobach delayed pending Supreme Court decision

photo by: Associated Press

In this file photo from Aug. 23, 2016, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach responds to questions outside the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

TOPEKA — No grand jury will be called in Douglas County to investigate alleged mishandling of voter registrations in Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s office, at least until the Kansas Supreme Court decides whether it will review the case.

Steven Davis, a Democratic candidate running for the 45th District seat in the Kansas House, had filed petitions to summon a grand jury last year. The Douglas County District Court rejected those petitions, saying Davis’ allegations were not specific enough to warrant a grand jury, but on June 8, the Kansas Court of Appeals reversed that decision, saying that general allegations sufficed.

Following that, Kobach, a Republican candidate for governor, filed a motion with the appellate court to intervene and asked the panel to reconsider the issue. The Court of Appeals rejected those motions, but, just before it did, Kobach filed similar motions with the Kansas Supreme Court.

Monday was to have been the day when the Court of Appeals would issue its “final mandate,” which would have directed the Douglas County District Court to begin summoning a grand jury. But a spokeswoman for the Office of Judicial Administration said in an email Monday that the final mandate is “on hold” pending the Supreme Court’s decisions on Kobach’s motions.


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