This lawsuit challenges a Kansas documentary proof of citizenship law with regard to individuals who apply to register to vote in federal elections during the driver’s license application or renewal process, and who sign an attestation of United States citizenship as part of that application process. The individual plaintiffs filed their Complaint on February 18, 2016, on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated, against Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, and Kansas Secretary of Revenue Nick Jordan. The Complaint alleges that the Kansas documentary proof of citizenship requirement and a related regulation are preempted by the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, and violate 42 U.S.C. § 1983 because they are unconstitutional under the Elections Clause and the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the United States Constitution. The League of Women Voters was added as an organizational Plaintiff in March 2016.
On May 17, 2016, the Court issued an extensive Memorandum and Order granting in part Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of the Kansas documentary proof of citizenship law until this case could be decided on the merits. The Court enjoined Defendants from enforcing K.S.A. § 25-2309(l) as to individuals who apply to register to vote in federal elections at the same time they apply for or renew a driver’s license. The Secretary of State was also directed to register for federal elections all otherwise eligible motor voter registration applicants that have been cancelled or are in suspense due solely to their failure to provide documentary proof of citizenship. The Court’s preliminary injunction order was affirmed by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals on September 30, 2016.
On July 29, 2016, the Court denied Plaintiff’s motion for class certification. On August 29, 2016, the Court granted Defendant Jordan’s motion to dismiss, finding he lacked the capacity to be sued under state law.
The parties filed two rounds of summary judgment motions. The Court granted in part and denied in part those motions. Summary judgment was granted in Defendant's favor on all but one remaining claim: the claim that under section 5 of the NVRA, the Kansas SAFE Act is preempted. That claim will proceed to trial on March 6, 2018, in a consolidated trial with the related case of Bednasek v. Kobach, Case No. 15-9300.
This web page provides a brief summary of the case along with selected documents filed by the parties. To view all of the records in the case, please use the court's Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER). For more information on PACER and how to access court records, including court transcripts, CLICK HERE.