Kris Kobach Gets What He Deserves

Kris Kobach in happier days with his pal Donald Trump.Peter Foley/CNP via ZUMA

Here’s something to cheer you up. A few years ago, Kris Kobach, the odious immigration hardliner who is currently Kansas Secretary of State, shepherded a voter ID bill through the Kansas legislature. Today, a Republican federal judge struck down the law in an opinion so incendiary it’s a wonder Kobach himself didn’t go up in flames. She ruled that the law was unconstitutional; that Kobach produced no real evidence of voter fraud; that Kobach’s “expert witnesses” were cretins; and that the law prevented tens of thousands of legal voters from casting ballots.

But that’s not the best part. Kobach chose to personally represent Kansas in this case, and he persistently flouted the rules of evidence by failing to disclose documents and repeatedly trying to introduce new data that he had not given opposing lawyers a chance to see:

The disclosure violations set forth above document a pattern and practice by Defendant of flaunting disclosure and discovery rules that are designed to prevent prejudice and surprise at trial. The Court ruled on each disclosure issue as it arose, but given the repeated instances involved, and the fact that Defendant resisted the Court’s rulings by continuing to try to introduce such evidence after exclusion, the Court finds that further sanctions are appropriate.

Rick Hasen tells us about these “further sanctions”:

Ha! There’s no one more deserving of being humiliated like this than Kris Kobach. The only question left is whether the voters of Kansas will interpret this as a well-deserved rebuke that makes him unsuitable to become their governor in November; or if Kobach will somehow convince them that it was the act of an elitist judge who loves voter fraud because she’s black. I can hardly wait.


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Give a Year of the Truth

at our special holiday rate

just $12

Order Now

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.