Kansas will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on a state law championed by former secretary of state Kris Kobach — struck down by lower courts— that requires residents to prove their citizenship when registering to vote.
The request, announced Tuesday morning by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, sets up a potentially historic showdown over voting rights if the court takes the case, with the justices possibly deciding how far states can go in imposing requirements on would-be voters.
Dale Ho, lead attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union in the case, said he was confident that the plaintiffs would prevail at the Supreme Court— as they had at the district court and appeals level.
“It stopped more than 30,000 Kansans from exercising their right to vote. Kansas’ law has been found to violate federal law multiple times, as well as the United States Constitution,” Ho said.
“It’s sad that the secretary of state and the attorney general of Kansas would seek to resuscitate Kris Kobach’s sorry legacy of voter suppression,” Ho said in a phone call….
Rick Hasen, an election law professor at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, said he was surprised by Kansas’ decision to seek a Supreme Court review of the case.
“The Supreme Court’s rules require it to defer to the factual findings of the trial court, and the the trial court found as a matter of fact that Kobach utterly failed to prove his case that noncitizen voter fraud was a real problem in Kansas. He called it the ‘tip of the iceberg’ but the trial court found it to be an ‘icicle’ made up mostly of administrative error,” Hasen said in a message.
Schwab said judicial review is needed “to provide clarity” on the issue.
“This is a really important appeal. It has consequences for the entire country, so I’m hopeful the Supreme Court will take the case and if they do take the case I am confident they will overturn the 10th circuit,” Kobach said in a phone call Tuesday.