Judge orders Kobach to pay more than $26,000 for ‘contemptuous behavior’

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach listens as US President Donald Trump speaks during the first meeting of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House in Washington, DC, July 19, 2017. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

WICHITA, Kan. — A federal judge has imposed sanctions of more than $26,000 as punishment against Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach for his “contemptuous behavior” during a voting rights case that challenged the state’s proof-of-citizenship registration law.

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson found Kobach in contempt in April. The decision handed down Wednesday specified the amount of attorney fees and expenses. It fell short of the more than $50,000 sought by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Robinson said Kobach failed to ensure local election officials sent voter registration postcards to people who registered when applying for a Kansas driver’s license or when using a federal form, regardless of documentary proof of citizenship.

She also noted that until recently the county election manual advised local officials that people needed to submit citizenship paperwork.