Kris Kobach Gets What He Deserves

Kris Kobach in happier days with his pal Donald Trump.Peter Foley/CNP via ZUMA

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Here’s something to cheer you up. A few years ago, Kris Kobach, the odious immigration hardliner who is currently Kansas Secretary of State, shepherded a voter ID bill through the Kansas legislature. Today, a Republican federal judge struck down the law in an opinion so incendiary it’s a wonder Kobach himself didn’t go up in flames. She ruled that the law was unconstitutional; that Kobach produced no real evidence of voter fraud; that Kobach’s “expert witnesses” were cretins; and that the law prevented tens of thousands of legal voters from casting ballots.

But that’s not the best part. Kobach chose to personally represent Kansas in this case, and he persistently flouted the rules of evidence by failing to disclose documents and repeatedly trying to introduce new data that he had not given opposing lawyers a chance to see:

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. 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.

Rick Hasen tells us about these “further sanctions”:

Ha! There’s no one more deserving of being humiliated like this than Kris Kobach. The only question left is whether the voters of Kansas will interpret this as a well-deserved rebuke that makes him unsuitable to become their governor in November; or if Kobach will somehow convince them that it was the act of an elitist judge who loves voter fraud because she’s black. I can hardly wait.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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