Reps: Kobach, Kansas AG to blame for nearly $2M legal bill

Kansas is on the hook for $1.9 million in legal fees over a controversial voting law. Former Secretary of State Kris Kobach persuaded lawmakers in 2013 to pass his signature law, which was defended by other state officials. The law was struck down in 2018.

By

State News

March 25, 2022 - 4:30 PM

Rep. John Carmichael said the Legislature carries blame for flushing nearly $2 million down the drain by going along with a Kris Kobach-backed voting law that many advocates and experts told lawmakers was unconstitutional. Photo by KANSAS REFLECTOR/SHERMAN SMITH

TOPEKA — With Kansas on the hook for $1.9 million in legal fees stemming from a costly battle over a controversial voting law touted by former Secretary of State Kris Kobach, state representatives cast blame Wednesday on the attorney general and themselves for allowing the situation to reach this point.

Kobach persuaded lawmakers in 2013 to pass his signature law, which required new voters to present proof of citizenship, using baseless voter fraud claims to support the initiative. However, the law did nothing to prevent very rare cases of voter fraud in Kansas, instead blocking more than 35,000 eligible voters from participating in elections.

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson struck down the law in 2018 and held Kobach in contempt of court. When current Secretary of State Schwab took office, he and Attorney General Derek Schmidt continued to defend the law, but the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider the case after an appellate court upheld Robinson’s ruling.

Related
May 20, 2022
December 22, 2021
March 18, 2019
October 9, 2018