Government & Politics

Judge orders Kobach to pay $26,000 to ACLU in proof-of-citizenship case

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to pay more than $26,000 in legal fees to the American Civil Liberties Union and a related legal team stemming from the fight over Kansas’ proof-of-citizenship voting law.

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson said Kobach’s office is on the hook for the money. Her order came less than two months after she struck down the proof-of-citizenship law long championed by Kobach.

Kobach, the state’s leading election official, is running in the GOP primary for governor.

The ACLU had earlier asked that Kobach’s office pay $51,646.16 in legal bills.

Robinson held Kobach in contempt earlier this year and ordered him to pay plaintiff attorneys’ fees in the case, which centered on whether Kansas can require voters to provide a birth certificate or other proof of citizenship when they register to vote.

Kobach’s spokeswoman did not immediately respond with a comment to the order Wednesday.

ACLU attorney Dale Ho said in an email: “It’s unfortunate, but fees like this are part of the price when you break the law.”

“Once again, Kansas taxpayers are left holding the bag for Secretary Kobach’s misdeeds.”

The Star’s Bryan Lowry contributed to this report.