A federal appeals court will hear arguments Monday over the constitutionality of a struck-down Kansas law that required people to provide documents proving their U.S. citizenship before they could register to vote.
In a case with national implications for voting rights, Kansas faces an uphill battle to resurrect the law once championed by former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach , who led President Donald Trump’s now-defunct voter fraud commission.
A three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily blocked Kobach in 2016 from fully enforcing the law, calling it “a mass denial of a fundamental constitutional right.” The issue is back before the appellate court after U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson struck it down last year and made permanent the earlier injunction.
“Kansas was the tip of the spear of an effort to make it harder for people to register under the guise of protecting elections from a nonexistent epidemic of noncitizen voting. Those efforts haven’t stopped as this case illustrates, and I think this case will be closely watched,” said Dale Ho, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Voting Rights Project.