Posted by: JanF | March 28, 2015

Kansas’ Kris Kobach, Konstitutional sKolar

From the State of Denial Kansas: Secretary of State Kris Kobach will file appeal to Supreme Court over two-tier voting.

Last year, the beKnighted GOP Secretary of State of Kansas, Kris Kobach, lost his battle to keep Those People from voting in His State. He designed a new rule (and helpfully shared it with the State of Arizona) that required people to prove their citizenship before they could register to vote. This requirement ran afoul of federal laws which state that such documents are not required. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Kansas and Arizona were welcome to issue such rules for their own state elections but that they could not require people voting in federal elections to comply with that additional paperwork requirement. That led to a two-tier system of voter registration for the 2014 election.

Not satisfied that he was allowed to keep his own rules for His State, Kobach has announced that he will appeal to the Supreme Court to reinstate the proof of citizenship requirement because it is confusing to have two sets of rules in place for the voters of Kansas. Setting aside for a moment the breathtaking audacity required to complain when the rule he put in place is what is leading to the confusion, his interpretation of the constitution is rather creative:

“It’s a really profoundly important case,” Kobach said. “The founding fathers were emphatic that the states get to decide who is a qualified voter and who is not. It was a critical point in the Constitution that the federal government would have to follow the states on this matter.

“In other words, the qualifications for voting for a member of Congress in Kansas would have to be the same as those for voting for a member of the Kansas Legislature and it was the states who would set the rules and Congress would follow, not vice versa. What this federal agency has done is turn the founding fathers’ notion on its head.”

Yes, the founding fathers did say that the states could decide who a qualified voter is. But the U.S. Constitution was amended several times since then as it relates to voting and federal laws were put in place to make it illegal to set up unreasonable barriers to voting BY THE STATES.

And in case you didn’t get the message, a war was fought over states rights and your side lost. Rather Konvenient for Kris Kobach to Kompletely miss the last 150 years of history.

If the rules are confusing, change them to match the federal law, the Help America Vote Act of 2002 which includes this instruction:

The federal form doesn’t require any documents, but instead requires prospective voters to attest to their citizenship by signing a sworn statement under penalty of perjury.

That the only requirement. Let your people vote.

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