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Steven Wayne Fish, et al., v. Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State (Civil Action No. 16-2105-JAR-JPO)

Judge Info

District Judge Julie A. Robinson
United States District Court, District of Kansas

Chief Magistrate Judge James P. O'Hara
United States District Court, District of Kansas

Case Summary

This lawsuit challenges a Kansas documentary proof of citizenship law with regard to individuals who apply to register to vote in federal elections during the driver’s license application or renewal process, and who sign an attestation of United States citizenship as part of that application process. The individual plaintiffs filed their Complaint on February 18, 2016, on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated, against Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, and Kansas Secretary of Revenue Nick Jordan. The Complaint alleges that the Kansas documentary proof of citizenship requirement and a related regulation are preempted by the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, and violate 42 U.S.C. § 1983 because they are unconstitutional under the Elections Clause and the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the United States Constitution. The League of Women Voters was added as an organizational Plaintiff in March 2016.        

On May 17, 2016, the Court issued an extensive Memorandum and Order granting in part Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of the Kansas documentary proof of citizenship law until this case could be decided on the merits.  The Court enjoined Defendants from enforcing K.S.A. § 25-2309(l) as to individuals who apply to register to vote in federal elections at the same time they apply for or renew a driver’s license. The Secretary of State was also directed to register for federal elections all otherwise eligible motor voter registration applicants that have been cancelled or are in suspense due solely to their failure to provide documentary proof of citizenship.  The Court’s preliminary injunction order was affirmed by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals on September 30, 2016.

On July 29, 2016, the Court denied Plaintiff’s motion for class certification.  On August 29, 2016, the Court granted Defendant Jordan’s motion to dismiss, finding he lacked the capacity to be sued under state law. 

This web page provides a brief summary of the case along with selected documents filed by the parties.  To view all of the records in the case, please use the court's Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER).  For more information on PACER and how to access court records, including court transcripts, CLICK HERE

Contact Information

Plaintiffs' Counsel
Angela M. Liu

Dechert LLP - IL
35 W. Wacker Drive, Suite 3400
Chicago, IL 60601

312-646-5800
angela.liu@dechert.com
Anne A. Gruner

Dechert, LLP - NY
1095 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036

212-698-3618
anne.gruner@dechert.com
Dale E. Ho

American Civil Liberties Union Foundation - NY
125 Broad Street
New York, NY 10004

212-549-2693
dale.ho@aclu.org
Neal A. Steiner

Dechert, LLP - NY
1095 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036

212-698-3500
neil.steiner@dechert.com
R. Orion Danjuma

American Civil Liberties Union Foundation - NY
125 Broad Street
New York, NY 10004

212-549-2593
odanjuma@aclu.org
Rebecca Kahan Waldman

Dechert, LLP - NY
1095 Aveneue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036

212-698-3500
rebecca.waldman@dechert.com
Sophia Lin Lakin

American Civil Liberties Union Foundation - NY
125 Broad Street
New York, NY 10004

212-519-7836
slakin@aclu.org
Stephen D. Bonney

ACLU Foundation of Kansas
6701 W. 64th Street, Suite 210
Overland Park, KS 66202

913-490-4102
dbonney@aclukansas.org
Defendant's Counsel
Bryan J. Brown

Bryan Brown
120 SW 10th Street
Topeka, KS 6612

260-515-8511
bryanjbrownlaw@gmail.com
Garrett Robert Roe

Kansas Secretary of State
120 S 10th Avenue
Memorial Hall, 1st Floor
Topeka, KS 66612-1594

785-296-8473
garrett.robert.roe@gmail.com
Kris Kobach

Secretary of State
Memorial Hall, 1st Floor
120 SW 10th Avenue
Topeka, KS 66612

785-296-2034
kris.kobach@ks.gov