Federal Judge Rules in Favor of ACLU, Strikes Down Kobach's Illegal Voter Restrictions

June 18, 2018
OVERLAND PARK, KS - In March of this year, the ACLU of Kansas and the national ACLU's Voting Rights Project took Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to court over the state's restrictions on the right to vote.  A bench trial was conducted in the case, Fish v. Kobach, before federal judge Julie Robinson, a judge appointed by President George W. Bush.  After the trial, Judge Robinson held Sec. Kobach in contempt of court for failing to implement her orders in the case.
Late this afternoon, Judge Robinson ruled decisively in favor of the ACLU and its plaintiffs in the case.  Judge Robinson ruled that the state's "proof of citizenship" law, where citizens are forced to produce a birth certificate or passport or other onerous document, is a violation of federal law. 
The following statement can be attributed to Micah Kubic, executive director of the ACLU of Kansas:
"We are gratified by today's decision, which establishes what Kansans have long known: Sec. Kobach's restrictions on the right to vote are illegal, unconstitutional, and just plain wrong.  His 'papers please' requirement runs counter to the values that we share as Kansans and Americans.  Our democracy is strongest when more citizens vote, not when fewer do.  These requirements have had one purpose only - to decrease citizen participation in Kansas elections, in ways that weaken our democracy.  We are pleased that the court has struck down this onerous law.  We hope that Sec. Kobach will now actually follow the court's orders in this case, and that the secretary of state's office will spend its time on finding ways to increase citizen participation in elections rather than inventing new ways to stop citizens from exercising their right to vote."

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About the ACLU of Kansas: The ACLU of Kansas is the statewide affiliate of the national American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU of Kansas is dedicated to preserving and advancing the civil rights and legal freedoms guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. For more information, visit our website at www.aclukansas.org.