Anti-immigrant groups file amicus briefs in Kobach v. U.S. Election Assistance Commission


At the end of March I posted that Kobach v. US Election Assistance Commission appealed to U.S. Supreme Court:

Last November, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down proof-of-citizenship requirement for National Voter Registration Form:

NoVoteA panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday, in a unanimous decision, struck down Arizona’s Prop. 200 (2004) proof-of-citizenship requirement for voter registration and a similar provision of Kansas law in Kobach v. U.S. Election Assistance Commission (Nos. 14-3062 and 14-3072). Specifically, this case concerns whether Arizona and Kansas have to accept the federal National Voter Registration Form without additional proof of citizenship. The Arizona Voter Registration Form proof-of-citizenship requirement has previously been upheld by the Courts.

Read the Opinion Here (.pdf).

[UPDATE: The Federal Voter Registration Form requires the voter to swear/affirm that they are a U.S. citizen and that they meet the eligibility requirements of their state “under penalty of perjury. If I have provided false information, I may be fined, imprisoned or (if not a U.S. citizen) deported from or refused entry to the United States.”]

The Wichita Eagle reports, Kris Kobach asks U.S. Supreme Court to restore his proof-of-citizenship law:

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn an appeals court decision and restore a state law he wrote requiring proof-of-citizenship documents to register to vote.

Kobach wants the Supreme Court to undo the November decision by the Denver-based 10th Circuit Court of Appeal, in a case pitting Kansas and Arizona against the federal Election Assistance Commission and a bevy of voting rights groups.

This case was docketed at the U.S. Supreme Court on March 24.  Docket for 14-1164. (h/t SCOTUSblog).

This appeal has attracted amicus briefs from all of the usual suspect anti-immigrant haters:

Kobach v. United States Election Assistance Commission
Pending petition

Issue: (1) Whether Article I, Section 2 and the Seventeenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution require the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to defer to the states’ determination that provision of documentary evidence of citizenship is necessary to enforce the states’ voter qualifications; and (2) whether Article I, Section 2 and the Seventeenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution permit a dual voter rolls system in which some voters who are qualified to vote for federal office holders are not also qualified to vote for those “in the most numerous branch of the state legislature.”

Date Proceedings and Orders
Mar 21 2015 Petition for a writ of certiorari filed. (Response due April 23, 2015)
Apr 15 2015 Order extending time to file response to petition to and including May 26, 2015.
Apr 21 2015 Brief amicus curiae of American Civil Rights Union filed.
Apr 21 2015 Letter proposing a lodging of thirteen voter registration forms received from counsel for amicus American Civil Rights Union filed.
Apr 21 2015 Brief amici curiae of Judicial Watch, Inc., and Allied Educational Foundation filed.
Apr 22 2015 Brief amicus curiae of American Unity Legal Defense Fund filed.
Apr 23 2015 Brief amicus curiae of Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund filed.
Apr 23 2015 Brief amicus curiae of Landmark Legal Foundation filed.
Apr 23 2015 Brief amicus curiae of Immigration Reform Law Institute filed.
Apr 23 2015 Brief amicus curiae of Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence filed.

I have not seen this case reported anywhere other than in the far-right media online. NewsMax: Kansas, Arizona Sue US Agency Over Voter Forms That Aid Illegals; Breitbart: KS and AZ File SCOTUS Petition in Effort to Stop Non-Citizens from Registering and Voting, and  P.J. Media for example: Obama Admin. Won’t Let States Ask for Proof of Citizenship … On Voter Registration Form! (Oh Noes!)

This case originally was the baby of Secretary of State Ken “Birther” Bennett and his nativist buddy from Kansas, Secretary of State Kris Kobach. These tools instituted a “dual election system” in Arizona and Kansas last year that pissed away a lot of taxpayer money, and that denied a small number of voters who registered to vote using the federal voter registration form their constitutional right to vote in statewide, legislative, and local offices.

One would think that the Arizona political media would follow up with Secretary of State Michele Reagan, Attorney General Mark Brnovich, and Governor Doug Ducey and report on what their positions are in this appeal. Why is this not a story?

And I would strongly urge the voting rights organizations that filed amicus briefs in Kansas and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to do so again in the U.S. Supreme Court.


  1. AZ’s current AG and SoS filed with the appeal with KS officials. They prefer to see less people voting by making it unnecessarily hard to register. Arizona Advocacy Network and the original plaintiffs have been co-defendants with the EAC since the politicians filed this challenge in 2013 with a conservative KS federal judge. Progressive legal groups are weighing in. Glad to see your coverage on this important case.

  2. Arizona Advocacy Network organized plaintiffs in 2006 to successfully challenge the barrier to register to vote using the Federal VR Form in June 2013. PLEASE edit your blog to read that PROOF of citizenship is ALREADY required to register to vote using the federal form, it simply requires LESS PAPERWORK. Eligible citizens must sign under oath and face over a year in federal prison if found they registered illegally. Then voters are matched in state and national databases before becoming an active voter. Voter registration fraud can occur even when additional paperwork is required, as on the AZ form, and demonstrated in the case of the elderly Mohave County Republican who fraudulently registered and VOTED in AZ following all the rules in Prop 200 and then again in her “home”state. Let’s dig deeper on this issue. Citizens must provide more evidence of eligibility to vote than donors, for whom there is no verification process. There is suspected widespread donor fraud and money laundering in our elections and politicians waive it off as unimportant because they thrive on that money. Arizona Advocacy Network supports requiring voters and donors to provide the same paperwork and information to participate in our elections. How many millionaires and billionaires are going to send in a copy of their birth certificate, passport, naturalization document or tribal ID in order to buy a candidate with their campaign cash? We could also require donors of privately funded candidates to meet the same standards as $5 donors to Clean Elections candidates. Whichever direction we go, 82% of likely 2016. Check out our poll at Arizona voters support making donors meet the same standards as voters. American Democracy is, after all, suppose to be about #VotersNotDonors.

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