Kris Kobach Gets What He Deserves

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

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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.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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