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State Secretary of State Stuck with CLE Sanction

Today was a terrible, no-good, very bad day for Kris Kobach.

It's not every day that a federal court imposes Continuing Legal Education requirements as a sanction to attorneys in a case, but that is what happened in to Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in Fish v. Kobach.

Fish concerned a challenge to provisions of the Kansas Safe and Fair Elections (SAFE) Act, in particular a requirement that individuals provide documentary proof of citizenship ("DPOC") when registering to vote. In an extensive opinion, Judge Julie Robinson concluded portions of the SAFE Act are unconstitutional and violate the National Voter Registration Act. In the process, Judge Robinson rejected some of the expert evidence submitted by Kobach in defense of the law and had harsh words for Kansas' Secretary of State. Rick Hasen has more on the case at Election Law Blog here.

Of particular note, Judge Robinson sanctioned SOS Kobach for failing to disclose relevant evidence prior to trial. She wrote:

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 under Rule 37(c)(1), which permits, in addition to exclusion of the evidence, "other appropriate sanctions." It is not clear to the Court whether Defendant repeatedly failed to meet his disclosure obligations intentionally or due to his unfamiliarity with the federal rules. Therefore, the Court finds that an additional sanction is appropriate in the form of Continuing Legal Education. Defendant chose to represent his own office in this matter, and as such, had a duty to familiarize himself with the governing rules of procedure, and to ensure as the lead attorney on this case that his discovery obligations were satisfied despite his many duties as a busy public servant. The Court therefore imposes a CLE requirement of 6 hours for the 2018-2019 reporting year in addition to any other CLE education required by his law license. These 6 additional hours must pertain to federal or Kansas civil rules of procedure or evidence. Defendant shall file a certification with this Court before the end of the reporting period on June 30, 2019, certifying that this CLE requirement has been met.

Such a sanction is quite remarkable -- particularly when imposed on a government official.

UPDATE: As noted in the comments, this is not the first time SOS Kobach has been sanctioned. Last year Kobach was fined for "misleading" a federal court. Earlier this year, Kobach was also held in contempt of court for failing to comply with a court order.

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  • santamonica811||

    Jon,
    You could also mention that Kobach had *already* been twice sanctioned during the trial for misleading the court about the contents of emails, and also for failing to properly notify voters that they were eligible to vote after the (Republican-nominated) judge initially blocked the law Two Frickin' Years ago!!!

    Given the deliberate repeated unethical behavior of the clown--doing his official duties--I found the actual sanctions remarkably light. What a repulsive piece of cr@p this Kobach is. I guess you get the government you deserve. (And yes; I do get the irony re Trump and all of America.)

  • Ghost of Patrick Henry||

    What he got was an easily reversed decision by a clearly biased Judge.

    The Kansas Bar regulates CLE not a federal judge.

    More evidence that the federal judiciary is out if control.

  • Allutz||

    More likely than not, this is the correct take.

  • apedad||

    Does it make a difference that this was in a federal court with a federal judge?

  • Sarcastr0||

    I never took remedies, but from this blog I've learned judges have pretty broad discretion with sanctions.

    'Clearly biased' is a tell.

  • David Bremer||

    So what if the Kansas Bar regulates CLEs. The Federal Reserve regulates money. Doesn't mean a federal judge couldn't impose a monetary sanction.

  • TheAmazingEmu||

    In the comments for FRCP 11:

    The court has available a variety of possible sanctions to impose for violations, such as striking the offending paper; issuing an admonition, reprimand, or censure; requiring participation in seminars or other educational programs; ordering a fine payable to the court; referring the matter to disciplinary authorities (or, in the case of government attorneys, to the Attorney General, Inspector General, or agency head), etc. See Manual for Complex Litigation, Second, §42.3.

    Seems well within the power of a Federal Judge governing the conduct of an attorney who is in Federal Court.

  • nonzenze||

    RTFM is way too much for these guys.

  • Pacific||

    Perhaps you didn't follow the trial, as I did, or review the decision. If you had you would understand that the judge is indeed biased...in favor of lawyers who actually know how to litigate, follow the procedural and substantive rules and pretrial orders, don't repeatedly lie to the court and don't present false faux-expert testimony from such charlatans as Hans von Spakovsky. That is a good kind of bias.

    Are you admitted to practice in any federal court?

  • James Pollock||

    "The Kansas Bar regulates CLE not a federal judge"

    Incorrerct. The Kansas Bar regulates lawyers who'd like to practice law in Kansas and/or represent parties in Kansas courts. They have squat-all authority over federal courts.

  • Jeff Walden||

    I have zero informed opinion on any of the events involved in this and haven't even closely read this post -- just saw a snarky Twitter-mention of it.

    But I'm curious: are we (for some definition of "we") having the same reaction to this development, as we were to the Obama administration coming close to being torn a new one over its failures to adequately inform the federal judge in Texas of improper implementation of DAPA? Because I remember reading posts at the time that were, to put it mildly, a bit taken aback by Judge Hanen's demands for ethics training for DOJ folks and personal certification from AG Lynch as to how those plans were being carried out.

    What is the standard to which executives misbehaving in court should be held? And, is the right standard being consistently applied to DOJ and to Kobach? (To be abundantly clear, these are 100% genuine questions not meant to lead toward an evaluation favoring censure or opposing it. And I do not know the answers to these questions. But I care deeply that we have a consistent standard, and that that standard not just devolve into "it's their clown, not ours", and that we actually apply a consistent standard without regard to whose ox is being gored.)

  • Pacific||

    Kobach presented himself as the lead trial lawyer. It was quickly evident that he knows nothing about the rules of evidence, or trial procedure, and had no respect for the court. He deserves every bit of the sanctions, attorneys fees and criticism assessed against him.

  • TheAmazingEmu||

    Lawyers who choose to litigate in court should be held to the same standard as any other lawyer who chooses to litigate in court.

  • nonzenze||

    particularly when imposed on a government official

    To be fair, he was a government official that decided he could lawyer better than lawyers that are paid to lawyer. He could have just left well enough alone.

  • Lee Moore||

    That was the bit that was puzzlingly me. From the name of the case it looks like he was the defendant, not the attorney. He may be AN attorney but that's beside the point. Was he really defending himself ? There's a saying about that, as I recall.

  • MarkW201||

    Yes, if you read accounts of the case, you will discover that Kobach was the lead counsel for the state of Kansas in this case; he was joined by two other attorneys from the Kansas Secretary of State's office. Apparently, Kobach persuaded the state's attorney general that he, Kobach, should represent the state

  • David Welker||

    "Such a sanction is quite remarkable -- particularly when imposed on a government official."

    I would say the sanction is incredibly mild. A requirement that a lawyer be required to learn the law when a court has reason to believe he may not know it is both very reasonable and kind.

    As far as him being a government official, I do not see the relevance. All lawyers who appear before a court are officers of the court and ought to be held to the same standard regardless of their day job. If a lawyer, government official or not, does not want to risk sanctions for not knowing the law, they can avoid that outcome by either knowing the law well enough so that the court does not suspect they don't know it. Or by not being the responsible attorney on the case.

    On a somewhat related note, I imagine that competence is an ethical requirement in Kansas as it is everywhere else.

  • santamonica811||

    ". . . I imagine that competence is an ethical requirement in Kansas as it is everywhere else."

    I'd take that bet. Based on merely their take on education (re evolution) and their recent idiotic and disastrous tax cuts...I would strongly contest your assumption of competence on anything Kansas spits out. :-)

  • TheAmazingEmu||

    I mean, it can be a pain in the ass and would require him to slum it with us common folk.

  • Eidde||

    OK, so the Secretary of State is a Bad Person.

    Does this mean you can't ask for proof of citizenship from would-be voters?

  • Sarcastr0||

    It means there isn't a demonstrated reason to impose policies that have a demonstrated effect of suppressing actual citizens from voting.

  • Rossami||

    re: "demonstrated effect of suppressing actual citizens from voting"

    Citation, please?

    I ask because while I have frequently seen that effect alleged, I have never seen it demonstrated. The evidence that it is suppressive seems to me every bit as speculative as the claims about fraud.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Lots of studies. Just Google.

  • jph12||

    These studies are all garbage because there aren't enough elections to control for all of the variables. And even then, according to the study you picked, strict voter id laws had no significant impact on black voter turnout for general elections and no significant impact on multi-racial voting for primary elections. The fact that there are significant differences in the alleged effects of strict voter id laws between primary and general elections is a pretty good sign that there's a problem with the analysis.

  • Sarcastr0||

    These studies are all garbage

    Haha, awesome reasoning dude! Also like you're carefully crafted discussion of what the study didn't prove.

    You've come up with nothing, I notice.

  • jph12||

    "Haha, awesome reasoning dude!"

    This is just another example of why engaging with you is worthless. You are either a moron or too intellectually dishonest for a rational discussion.

    "Also like you're carefully crafted discussion of what the study didn't prove."

    Yes, unlike you I actually want my presentation to accurately reflect the source material. And again, the study didn't prove that strict voter id laws don't have an effect on black turnout during general elections because it's garbage.

  • Sarcastr0||

    You didn't say 'this study is garbage' you said 'these studies are all garbage.' Casually discarding all possible scientific evidence that could bear on the issue. That's some hinky business.

    And then you move on to relying on typos to attack my argument.

    Somehow, you've never bothered to make on of your own as to why raising voter ID requirements would be a good thing, arguing only that the costs aren't as high because all the studies that say so are garbage.

    That's not the argument of a policymaker with a policy concern; that's the argument of someone pushing a policy with benefits he doesn't exactly want to highlight.

    As you work to find evidence of actual voter fraud, tell me, jph, do you believe all citizens should have the right to vote? Do you think voting should be easy for citizens? Do you agree with RightWingPatriot and mad_kalak that women vote wrong and letting them vote was a mistake?

  • jph12||

    "You didn't say 'this study is garbage' you said 'these studies are all garbage.' Casually discarding all possible scientific evidence that could bear on the issue. That's some hinky business."

    It's not casual. You just can't help yourself, can you? You realize that most of these garbage studies show that there isn't an effect, right? It's right there in the introduction to the one you cited. If I was a dishonest hack, I would cite these studies to support my position rather than dismissing them as the garbage they are.

    "And then you move on to relying on typos to attack my argument."

    I have no idea what you are talking about. I'm attacking your honesty or intellect, not your typing ability. I honestly have no idea how you could think I was talking about typos.

  • Sarcastr0||

    It sure looks casual. And continues to look casual. Prove me wrong - why is any attempt to study voter suppression via ID laws a priori garbage?

    Having looked around, I don't see a lot of studies showing no effect. Of course, knowing academia negative results are rarely published, so admittedly I wouldn't expect to see this.
    Re-read the intro again; they don't say studies don't see any effect, but that no non-local study like theirs has been seen.

    I've cited other studies. In the end, you can attack me all you want; I'm coming with data from multiple different styles and angles; you are coming with personal attacks and zero science on your side.

    Indeed, this entire post is about how your side has nothing. No amount of calling me dishonest will change how clear it is that you brought bluster to a policy analysis fight.

  • jph12||

    "Re-read the intro again; they don't say studies don't see any effect, but that no non-local study like theirs has been seen."

    Learn to read.

    "Although there are lots of reasons to suspect that these laws could harm groups like racial minorities and the poor, existing studies have generally failed to demonstrate a link between voter ID laws and voter turnout among these groups."

    "On this core question, the findings to date largely indicate that voter identification laws have minimal effects."

    "More importantly, on the question of who votes and who does not, the published research is almost unequivocal. The few studies that have looked for differential effects by race have found none."

    I would also note that there is no indication in either the article or the linked study that this study is published or even peer reviewed.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Don't ready with an agenda in mind.

    "The authors note that the existing research tends to point to three things: that strict voter ID laws requiring identification to cast a ballot do in fact reduce turnout by some amount, that turnout reduction tends to work in Republicans' favor, and that differential effects have been observed along class and education lines, but not race. But the UCSD researchers call those conclusions into question, noting that analyses based on elections data before 2014 could not have collected comprehensive enough data to rule out racial suppression, and that analyses that sidestep that limitation by relying on survey data tend to fall victim to people of color over-reporting if they voted in prior elections."

    source

  • jph12||

    As I said, learn to read. First, you are quoting from the article about the study rather than the study itself. Second, the passage you quoted from the article says that the previously existing research does not show an effect along racial lines. Which is what I said and you keep trying to disagree with. Third, the article explains that the UCSD study disagrees with those previous findings. Which again is what I said and you keep trying to disagree with.

  • jph12||

    "I don't see a lot of studies showing no effect."

    The study you linked to shows that strict voter id laws increase black turnout for general elections.

    The study you linked to also shows that voter id laws do not suppress the overall minority vote in either the primary or general elections. According to your study, strict voter id laws increase overall minority turnout for primary elections.

  • Sarcastr0||

    You are directly contradicting the study's stated finding.

    Also, as I noted below, it's far from the only study (though I continue to hold that it is probative, and your concerns about explaining subgroup interactions is pedantry that does not effect the thesis).

    This is not a trial; you don't win like a defense attorney by creating reasonable doubt; the burden is as much on the strict voter ID side as it is on the null policy side. In fact, given recent events, probably more of a burden.
    For all how hard you're working to disqualify (at least in your mind) every bit of science arrayed against you, your bullpen is empty.

  • jph12||

    "You are directly contradicting the study's stated finding."

    No I'm not, you just don't understand the study's finding.

    "Also, as I noted below, it's far from the only study"

    According to your study as of 2017 it pretty much was the only one that found a connection, limited though it was. Why would you trust your study to do the analysis correctly if it can't even review the literature?

    And I just looked at your other studies. You should be embarrassed. I'm embarrassed for you. You cited two of the studies that the literature review cites as showing no racial effect as if they said the opposite. Here is the last line of the abstract on the page you linked to for one of them. "However, we find no empirical evidence to suggest that there is a racial or ethnic component to this suppression effect." Ouch.

    I'm not going to bother with that Priorities USA memo.

    "your concerns about explaining subgroup interactions is pedantry that does not effect the thesis"

    Once again, your confusion stems from your failure to understand the study you are citing. The only reason the study can make the claim it does is by looking at the subgroups. The study found no statistically significant effect on the overall rate of minority turnout in either the general or primary election. Looking at the subgroups they did not choose to highlight is not pedantry.

  • Sarcastr0||

    I honestly don't think you know what you're talking about, but I'm not sure you know it. At this point, you're just BSing even yourself in an attempt to ignore all the evidence against your policy preference.

    Read your comment above. It's mostly personal attacks, with a side of a few more hand waiving dismissals.
    Particularly telling is your a misunderstanding of what a confounding factor is. Tellingly, that's a legit sounding term I brought up and that you ran with only afterwards. Did you have to Google it?

  • Absaroka||

    Sarcastro, I'm curious - have you read the actual paper, as opposed to the magazine's discussion of it? Just reading the exchange above, it's pretty clear that jph12 read the actual study, but it's not clear you did. You seem to be reading some kind of gospel truth into it that I don't think the published numbers support.

    FWIW: I think physics is pretty neat, and have several physicist friends. I've read enough about physics that I understand a lot of it - but not like the physicists do. Sometimes my amateur physics leads me astray. When the physicists tell me I'm mistaken, I tend to not dismiss their opinions out of hand. YMMV, of course.

  • NOVA Lawyer||

    Absoroka,

    You should know that jph is being dishonest. For example, above he quotes the last line of an abstract of a 2012 study that he says Sarcastro "linked to". But Sarcastro linked to an article which discussed a 2017 study and, in doing so, the article linked to several other studies. But the 2012 study that has the abstract jph crows about is a study that is criticized by the authors of the new 2017 study (the study on which Sarcastro relies). The same with the other studies jph mentions which are inconclusive or do not show a suppressive effect.

    The primary study demonstrates the limitations of the prior studies and shows that, in fact, there is a suppressive effect which primarily impacts racial minorities, ethnic minorities, and the poor.

    jph is no physicist. The 2017 study unambiguously supports Sarcastro's position. Read it. The other studies mentioned in the article have limitations explained by the UCD researchers in the primary, 2017 study.

    Sarcastro is right, jph is dishonest, and you don't seem to understand the debate (assuming jph is an expert but Sarcastro is not, which appears to be closer to the opposite of the actual state of affairs).

  • jph12||

    "You should know that jph is being dishonest. For example, above he quotes the last line of an abstract of a 2012 study that he says Sarcastro "linked to". But Sarcastro linked to an article which discussed a 2017 study and, in doing so, the article linked to several other studies."

    Hey moron, Sarcastr0 claimed to have provided other studies that supported his position and provided links to those studies in another post. That's where I got the 2012 study from, the one that says there's no suppressive effect. From a link that Sarcastr0 provided claiming it supported his position. It doesn't.

  • Harvey Mosley||

    I'm not jph but I think it should be as easy for all citizens to vote as it is for all citizens to buy a gun.

  • Absaroka||

    Thanks for the article; I read it and also the referenced study. Have you read the study while wearing your scientist hat, vs. a partisan hat?

    Their analysis is very similar to Lott's 'More Guns Less Crime' analysis - lot's of regressions and corrections and interactions.

    Some of those don't make a lot of sense; for example they find that A)strict ID laws don't depress overall turnout but also B)they do significantly depress minority turnout. That seems odd; by the time you add up the various minority fractions, minorities in toto aren't a small fraction of the electorate.

    For another anomaly, see pp. 22. The paper isn't a model of clarity, but it seems to be saying that non-photo ID requirements (utility bill, ...) have an even larger effect than a straight photo ID requirement. What's the mechanism for that?

    I have a little bit of background in stats (a lowly B.S. to be specific) and I tend to go a bit side-eye with studies like this - Lott's or this one. All the 'Working through the effects of the significant interaction', 'When we added interactions between', ', our analysis has to include the
    electoral context surrounding each particular election. For our analysis, this includes the
    political competitiveness of each state', etc, etc, set off little tinkling alarm bells in my head.

    It's easier than a lot of people think to correct random noise enough to find significant results. When you look at enough interactions, you expect some of them to be false positives.

  • Sarcastr0||

    I'm not a social scientist, but I do know it's easy to see an effect in a subset and not the superset even when the subset isn't negligible.

    And your demand for a mechanism behind every correlation isn't how physics papers work; I'd be surprised if social science was more rigorous than that.

    Feel free to be skeptical - I think we should generally be more skeptical of studies. But considering the complete lack of evidence of voter fraud, this is certainly sufficient to be skeptical of attempts at passing needless robust voter ID laws.

    Especially if they don't provide free voter ID. And at the same time are cutting down on absentee and early voting. I see a pattern.

  • Absaroka||

    "I'm not a social scientist, but I do know it's easy to see an effect in a subset and not the superset even when the subset isn't negligible."

    On the one hand, that's true. OTOH, if you look at enough subsets/interactions/etc, you're guaranteed to find effects, spurious or otherwise :-)

    "Especially if they don't provide free voter ID."

    I'm in favor of paying for state required licenses - drivers, voters, CCW, etc - out of general revenues. If we're going to require it, we ought to pay for it. And they should all be the same ID anyway; 'tis a bit silly to have a different card for each.

    "And at the same time are cutting down on absentee and early voting. I see a pattern."

    I dunno if that's aimed at me, but FWIW I'm a fan of mail in voting. In my state, IIUC (it's been a loooong time since I started voting here) you do sort of cover the photo ID thing, because you get signed up to vote when you get your driver's license. TBH, I dunno what happens if you walk into the licensing place and say you want to register to vote but not get a drivers license/state ID. I'm not sure why you'd want to do that.

  • Sarcastr0||

    True, but you need to explain why it's spurious before you throw our a correlation. From my dimly remembered pops-stats class, merely pointing to some unexplained subset interactions isn't enough, I don't think.

    We are on the same page re: ID.

  • Absaroka||

    "True, but you need to explain why it's spurious before you throw our a correlation."

    We have a philosophical difference there. If someone says 'Hey, I ran these 20 correlations, and one of them was significant at 0.05!', and your default reaction is 'sounds legit!', I think you missed the first couple weeks of stats class. Otherwise you got some 'splainin to do.

    You're in good company, FWIW. I constantly hear 'Well, sure there were 19 studies that didn't find a link between X and cancer, but here's one that does, and it's SIGNIFICANT! So there probably really is something there". That's just not how stats work.

  • Sarcastr0||

    To be clear, a correlation is proven. I don't pretend to know all their regression stuff, but no one seems to be contradicting it. The question is causation.

    Causation is determined by time-phasing and isolation of factors, as well as considering and throwing out possible confounding variables that could spoof causality. Weird stuff going on in the crosstabs is a great way to spot confounding factors. But unless you can isolate a factor, it's just weird stuff, not something that destroys the causal link you're trying to make.

  • Absaroka||

    " the causal link you're trying to make."

    Another philosophical difference there. You shouldn't be 'trying to make' anything; you should be following the data where it leads. P-hacking isn't valid science, common though it may be.

    "I don't pretend to know all their regression stuff,..."

    Fair enough. Just make sure you're just as enthusiastic about Lott's claims, because it's precisely the same analysis.

  • bernard11||

    I think much of the criticism of Lott has to do with the data he uses, rather than the calculations he applies.

    Different matter.

  • James Pollock||

    "I'm in favor of paying for state required licenses - drivers, voters, CCW, etc - out of general revenues. If we're going to require it, we ought to pay for it. And they should all be the same ID anyway; 'tis a bit silly to have a different card for each."

    Well, we give driving licenses and CCW permits to people who are not citizens of the U.S., because citizenship is not required to drive safely or operate a weapon safely, which are the raison d'etre of driving licensure and carry permits. These are also issued at the state level, while citizenship is a federal-level matter. So that's two reasons to keep them separate.
    Then, there's the fact that requiring taxes to be eligible to vote is flatly prohibited by the Constitution, while taxes and fees on driving or carrying are not.
    Finally, there's the argument that putting some cost on the person provides a waste reduction. A person who doesn't have to pay for testing won't put as much (or possibly any) effort into preparation. A person who pays for a failed test out of their pocket is more likely to make sure they can pass before attempting the test.

  • bernard11||

    Kobach is a total fraud trying to ride spurious voter fraud claims to higher office. He's a dishonest jerk.

  • Eidde||

    Grant that he's a jerk, but should people be allowed to register to vote without proving they're qualified - which generally includes proving they're citizens?

    Or do we assume that non-citizens haven't committed much voter fraud so far and therefore there's no fear they'd do it in future?

    Do we rely on politicians' assurances that 'when we commit vote fraud, we won't use foreign voters, we swear!"

  • Sarcastr0||

    1) What Kobotch was arguing for was a requirement well above mere proof of citizenship.
    2) States currently vet voters for citizenship.
    3) No one is arguing we lower the current vetting for voters
    4) Many are arguing to make the ID requirements much more stringent
    5) Those that do argue will sometimes let slip they like how this has suppressed the votes of citizens they don't want to vote
    6) The GOP base has a low buzz about restricting the franchise to property owners/net tax payers, etc.

    So the question you're asking isn't policy relevant, since as this court opinion and actual evidence indicate, the vastly more central issue is voter suppression, not voter fraud.

  • Eidde||

    So what proof of citizenship should Democrats require in order to pre-empt these evil scheming Republicans with their vote-suppressing agenda?

  • Eidde||

    Isn't that the customary political tactic if the other party is trying to monopolize public concern over an issue by proposing an overbroad bill - propose a substitute bill which is more reasonable and go on record supporting the more moderate bill?

  • bernard11||

    No.

    If the other side is making unreasonable claims you don't let them move you their way for no reason.

    If you think the Democrats should offer a "compromise" solution, you first have to demonstrate there is a problem.

    Despite many efforts, no one has done so.

  • Sarcastr0||

    The same as they currently require - proof of residence.

    Since people have been looking hard and not found any evidence of illegals voting, the proven costs in voter suppression well outweigh the speculative costs of illegal immigrants deciding to stop hiding and start getting all civic.

  • Eidde||

    Proof of residence? What about the homeless? What about people who lost their paperwork? What about people who sleep in their lover's apartment but don't want the authorities to know?

    What evidence is there that people fake their residence?

    etc...

  • Sarcastr0||

    There need be no substitute bill because there is no problem with the status quo. Kobach tried his best to prove otherwise, and made a fool of himself.

    If you believe the status quo is actually bad, maybe come with some facts and a better advocate and you'll have better luck.

  • Eidde||

    This guy in Kansas that I never heard of before isn't my advocate.

    I asked what Democrats should propose so people who register to vote can prove their eligibility.

    Apparently when it comes to citizenship the answer is nothing, no evidence need be provided because there's no evidence of non-citizens registering. And obviously there would be evidence if it's happening because they're keeping such careful records.

    Again, why should they have to prove residence? Isn't that an attempt to disenfranchise the homeless?

  • Sarcastr0||

    You are all afire to solve a problem that does not exist. And the solution you're offering has costs you are ignoring.

    We don't work extremely hard to ask for proof of citizenship because all evidence indicates noncitizen voting isn't a problem.

  • Sarcastr0||

    There are lots of states auditing voter records. Millions of dollars being spent. And yet, despite all this there is no evidence. And you are convinced as though there is lots of evidence. Maybe you're being convinced by something other than proof?
    ===========================
    "People who are homeless may register to vote by using the location of where they sleep as their address. This could be a shelter, a friend's place or outside. If it is outside, the voter should write a description of its location on line four of their voter registration application."

  • Eidde||

    I don't get this idea of "it's never happened (we assume), thus it will never happen."

    But in fact most states seem to rely on going after fake voters after the fact, by prosecuting them.

    I would love to learn that America's long and ignoble history of vote-rigging has come to an abrupt end - no more floaters, no more registering unqualified people, no more ballot-box stuffing, or maybe it's just that we can be assured that even if there is vote-rigging, they would draw the line at in-person impersonation or registering foreigners.

    But I guess it's no skin off my nose, my vote doesn't count for much anyway.

  • bernard11||

    If you look very hard and often for something, and can't find it, it's not simply an "assumption" that it's not there.

  • Eidde||

    Fair enough, so what do they do nowadays for vote-rigging? Or has everyone grown suddenly honest?

  • Sarcastr0||

    The era of political machines has died away in favor of PACs, so vote-buying has gotten more legal, if not more honest.

    Plus states do audit voter rolls and in the case of close elections the vote itself - it's not like there's no oversight or system in place.

  • CJColucci||

    If you've "never heard of" that "guy from Kansas," you literally don't know enough about this issue to have an opinion.

  • jph12||

    "The same as they currently require - proof of residence."

    Proof of residence is not proof of citizenship.

    "Since people have been looking hard and not found any evidence of illegals voting, the proven costs in voter suppression well outweigh the speculative costs of illegal immigrants deciding to stop hiding and start getting all civic."

    People have found evidence of non-citizens voting, which includes both legal and illegal immigrants. There are no proven costs of voter suppression.

  • Sarcastr0||

    There are no proven costs of voter suppression.

    Voter suppression IS the cost. Or are you admitting voter suppression is the goal, and this is a means to that end?

    As to your proof, I provided links to statistics above. I've not seen much on the voter fraud side. Indeed, this is an awkward thread to talk about evidence when the OP is about the main champion of that narrative being such an epic failure.

  • jph12||

    You provided links to a garbage analysis that still couldn't show a statistically significant effect on black turnout during general elections or multi-racial turnout during primary elections or provide any kind of explanation why things would be different between primary and general elections. Which is why I said there are no proven costs of voter suppression, because there's never been any proof of voter suppression.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Those are some fast-moving goalposts, jph.

    Google.. are other studies.

    Plus a bunch of state-specific court findings.

    Your not being skeptical, you're being willfully blind. Do you have any evidence of voter fraud, or is it all anecdotes and fearmongering speculation?

  • jph12||

    "Those are some fast-moving goalposts, jph."

    Where? Show where I've moved a single goalpost.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Original goal was are minority votes suppressed by strict ID laws?

    Current goal is explaining crosstab effects like blacks versus multi-racial. I'm no expert, but I'm quite sure unexplained subset effects do not invalidate a study.

  • jph12||

    The goalposts haven't shifted. You found a study that seems to support your conclusion, even though it found no statistically significant effect on black voters in general elections. Pointing out flaws in the study is not moving the goalposts, any more than it would be if I cited something by Hans von Spakovsky and you didn't accept it uncritically.

    But no, once again, rather than engage you just assume bad faith.

  • Sarcastr0||

    As I said, unexplained subset interactions don't invalidate a study unless you believe they support some unaddressed confounding factor.

  • Sarcastr0||

    I don't usually assume bad faith, but I do not see scientific rigor in your determination to dismiss that study and all other studies on the issue via some airy unquantified gesture at insufficient sample size.

  • jph12||

    "I don't usually assume bad faith"

    Bullshit.

    "I do not see scientific rigor in your determination to dismiss that study and all other studies on the issue via some airy unquantified gesture at insufficient sample size."

    You realize that the study you linked to contradicts most of the other studies, right? Please provide a scientifically rigorous explanation for why you believe this study as opposed to all of the other ones.

  • Sarcastr0||

    You might be experiencing some confirmation bias because your responses are often hard to explain absent objective-oriented reasoning at a level well beyond the usual partisan bias.

    The study does not say what say it does. Like many academic studies it discusses why previous studies were inadequate to prove the thesis they seek to prove.

    Listen to what you are saying. We should take as true that this paper says all previous studies are bunk, but that it is a badly performed garbage study. Now, come on.

    Thus, it's not that I believe this study compared to all the other ones. This study agrees with all the other ones that voter ID laws have a suppressive effect. Nationally, locally, in artificial psychological studies...

  • jph12||

    "You might be experiencing some confirmation bias because your responses are often hard to explain absent objective-oriented reasoning at a level well beyond the usual partisan bias."

    Am I the one who linked to two, count em two, studies purporting to show (remember, these studies are garbage too) that voter id laws did not have racial impacts to support my claim that voter id laws have racial impacts? No, I am not. That would be you.

    "The study does not say what say it does. Like many academic studies it discusses why previous studies were inadequate to prove the thesis they seek to prove."

    See, I can quote from the study. "More importantly, on the question of who votes and who does not, the published research is almost unequivocal. The few studies that have looked for differential effects by race have found none." That's what I say it says. That it disagrees with the results of those studies doesn't change their results.

    So I want my scientifically rigorous analysis about why this study is correct and the other ones are wrong. You can start with an explanation about how the study defines the South and why that matters.

  • jph12||

    First, pointing out that the study you linked to found no statistically significant effect on black voters in general elections or multi-racial voters in primary elections, or Asians in any, is not an unexplained subset interaction. It's how the authors had to parse the study to be able to show any statistically significant effect at all. According to the study strict voter id laws did not have a statistically significant effect on overall minority turnout in either primary or general elections. Hell, according to the study strict voter id laws increases black turnout in general elections (though the effect is not statistically significant).

    Gee, do you think that I don't believe the study adequately addresses the cofounding factors, both the ones it lists and the ones it doesn't, when that was the primary basis of my criticism in the first place?

  • Sarcastr0||

    You didn't specify, nor do you now, and confounding factors.

    You aren't really even engaging with the study beyond the one weird effect that you've decided is determinative for...reasons. Though that was better than your current deal of just citing the introductory patter out of context.

    You don't want rigour, you want agreeing with you, despite your complete lack of evidence on your side.

  • jph12||

    "You didn't specify, nor do you now, and confounding factors."

    I don't have to. The study is the one claiming to show something. The study provides little support for the factors it chooses to analyze nor does it make any attempt to explain why it chose only those particular factors. The study doesn't even define its factors. Tell me how it defines the Southern region or why that matters.Tell me why the margin of victory in the most recent presidential contest is the appropriate measure for political competitiveness.

    "Though that was better than your current deal of just citing the introductory patter out of context."

    The literature review is not introductory patter. And I'm not citing it out of context. I'm citing it because you keep insisting that it says something it doesn't and that the prior research says something it doesn't. You linked to a study that explicitly says it did not find a racial effect and pretended that it supports your position. Not only did you not read the study, you didn't even bother reading the abstract before claiming that it supported your position. You linked to another study that doesn't specify the result in the abstract but is listed as finding no racial effect in the current study and pretended that that study supported your position as well.

  • jph12||

    "You aren't really even engaging with the study beyond the one weird effect that you've decided is determinative for...reasons."

    No, I engaged with the study. Unfortunately, they make little effort to explain their actual methodology. As for the results, the authors of the study "readily admit that our analysis cannot definitively show a causal connection between voter ID laws and turnout." The study found that strict voter id laws had no statistically significant effect on the overall minority turnout in either primary or general elections. The study found that for certain minority groups in certain types of elections, strict voter id laws had a statistically significant negative effect on minority voter turnout. The study did not mention and made no attempt to explain why strict voter id laws had a statistically significant negative effect on black turnout during primary elections but had an "almost significantly" (to use a term from the study) positive effect on black turnout during general elections. And the conclusion certainly calls into question the objectivity of the people conducting the study.

  • Sarcastr0||

    You've never read a study before, it sounds like.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    There are no proven costs of voter suppression.

    I am grateful for the opportunity to compete economically with people who advance assertions of this type.

  • Absaroka||

    "The same as they currently require - proof of residence."

    Even though the study you cited upthread found an even bigger suppression effect for proof-of-residence than for photo ID?

  • James Pollock||

    "Do we rely on politicians' assurances that 'when we commit vote fraud, we won't use foreign voters, we swear!"

    No. We rely on common sense to tell us that rigging an election by bringing in ineligible voters, in person, is not very effective except on the smallest of scales, and even then it's both cheaper and easier to use American citizens.

    Which is why we have observers from different parties watching the poll workers when the votes are counted... because that's where changes can be made at scale.

    And, of course, there's the fact that you don't have to affect the counting of the votes if you can get THEIR voters (legal, citizen voters) to leave without voting. Say, my misidentifying where their polling place is, or by providing inadequate resources to handle the number of voters.

  • Pacific||

    You might take the time to read the decision and you will see why you can't. Kobach litigated the issue with the "best" of the "voter fraud" crew and lost badly on the merits.

  • Longtobefree||

    Personalities aside, why do courts continually rule that damn near anything is an unconstitutional infringement on the right to vote, while damn near any infringement on the second amendment is just fine?
    Proof of citizenship is to burdensome to vote, bit a full background check YOU have to pay for is fine for the 2A.
    Traveling a few blocks is burdensome to the right to vote, but gooing to wherever the sheriff's office is, in person, and paying for fingerprints is fine for the 2A.
    Etc.
    What would the court rule if a state said you have to present a carry permit to vote?
    Just always wondering about the fairness of it all.

  • apedad||

    You can't tell the difference between the damage one illegal vote can cause as opposed to the damage one illegal weapon usage can cause?

  • Absaroka||

    That style of analysis cuts both ways. Let's suppose I don't get to vote for some picayune reason - perhaps I didn't register 30 days before the election or whatever. That's frustrating, but it's not like my vote was likely to decide the election.

    But what if the local police don't process gun permits in the statutorily required 30 days? That can be kind of a bummer as well.

  • David Nieporent||

    How about the difference between the damage illegal votes can cause in the aggregate vs. the damage illegal weapons' usage can cause in the aggregate?

  • Sarcastr0||

    This is a dumb game of whattaboutism. Two different things can be bad in different ways.

    The only winning move is not to play.

  • apedad||

    Damage from illegal votes can be remedied in the next election.

    Damage from illegal weapons' usage cannot be remedied.

  • David Nieporent||

    Damage from illegal votes can be remedied in the next election.

    You assume that there will be a next election.

  • James Pollock||

    True, but it's an assumption that has held true thus far.

  • bernard11||

    Remarkable in the sense of unusual? I guess so.

    Remarkable in the sense of inappropriate? Only that it might be too mild. Apparently Kobach's defense was that his failures were honest errors made due to a misunderstanding of the rules. You can believe that if you want to, but if you do surely making him learn the rules is appropriate.

    How much of the court's time did he waste?

  • Longtobefree||

    Nor can I tell the difference between one legal vote and one legal gun use - - - - -

  • Eidde||

    A single legal vote won't keep a robber at bay.

  • Rossami||

    Yes, I can tell the difference. And historically, attacks on the credibility of the franchise are far more damaging. In aggregate, they lead to far more unrest, violence and death than allowing a free people to go armed.

  • bernard11||

    Attacking the franchise is precisely what Kobach and his scummy pals are doing.

  • James Pollock||

    "Personalities aside, why do courts continually rule that damn near anything is an unconstitutional infringement on the right to vote, while damn near any infringement on the second amendment is just fine?"

    I know you aren't/weren't expecting a serious answer to this, but here it is anyway.
    There are two reasons.
    One concrete, and one of airy supposition.
    The first is the 24th amendment. Placing fees on voters to prevent poor people from voting is flatly disallowed.

    The second is the fundamental assumption that the way change comes to the Republic is by citizens voting for it. Prevent citizens from voting for change, goes the theory, and you no longer have a Republic. (Yes, I know that firearms enthusiasts like to pretend that it is actually the second amendment that protects the citizenry from tyrannical tendencies in the governmental class. This is fantasy.)

  • RobinGoodfellow||

    The difference is the right to vote is enshrined in the constitution, while the right to keep and bear arms is just a talking point of the NRA.

  • ||

    LOL. There is no right to vote in the Constitution. God you people are stupid.

  • apedad||

    Wrong dumbass.

    There is no requirement in the Constitution that people be US citizens to vote.

    There are three Amendments that address the rights of citizens to vote: A19, A24, and A26.

    God YOU are stupid.

  • ||

    Those Amendments spell out grounds upon which a general right to vote granted by legislatures cannot be infringed. It doesn't create a right to vote in the first place.

  • James Pollock||

    Voting rights in the U.S. come from Article I, Section 2 and Article 4, Section 4. Neither of which expressly limits voting rights to "citizens".

    Why do so many people who claim to love love LOVE the Constitution not know what's in it or how it works?

    Note: The list of amendments above that touch on voting rights is incomplete. Fourteen and Fifteen are pretty important, too.

  • Pacific||

    Are you unfamiliar with 2A law? It would seem so.

  • TheAmazingEmu||

    Aren't most laws struck down because they conflict with federal statutory law, not the US Constitution?

  • James Pollock||

    The short answer to this question is "no".
    The only reason to strike down a law for conflicting with federal statutory law would be if Congress has pre-empted a field of law from state authority. This is a power they have because of the U.S. Constitution.

    (Then you can start a debate about whether courts have the power to "strike down" laws at all, since the Constitution doesn't expressly grant this power to the courts. Chief Justice Marshall claimed they had the power to do it, and Marshall's reasoning for claiming that power was sound enough that nobody has (seriously) claimed otherwise since then.

  • Old Smokin' Egg||

    I won't comment on the overall substance of the ruling; but may I suggest that Judge Robinson be required to take Continuing English Education, in the course of which she'll learn the difference between "flaunt" and "flout"?

  • bernard11||

    Kobach flouted the law, and the judge flaunted it when imposing the sanctions.

  • FlameCCT||

    I'm still trying to understand how a federal judge can ignore the Constitution and its requirement that only US citizens are allowed to vote in federal elections.

  • apedad||

    Well...

    1. The federal judge did not ignore the Constitution
    2. There is no requirement in the Constitution that voters must be US citizens
    3. This was about a state-level election law, not federal elections

    So, I guess I can see why you would be confused.

  • Ghost of Patrick Henry||

    The Judge ruled that admitted proof of dozens of illegal voters were not enough volume of illegality to show illegal voting and registration were taking place.

    What, pray tell, Judge, is the magic number of illegals voting to prove illegals are voting?

  • maxparrish||

    I noticed she said there was no evidence of "substantial" non-citizen voting. As you said, what is the magic number for "substantial". Given that election winners have, on occasion, been determined by a handful of voters it would seem that number must be that this threshold should be very very low.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Making a policy based on anecdotes is a bad idea generally, and in this case given the proven cost of suppressing legal citizen votes, is particularly bad one here.

  • maxparrish||

    And if legal citizen votes are so important, don't you think it is equally important to not let it be watered down by illegal voters?

  • Sarcastr0||

    Sure do.

    Except that you concede that there is no watering down except in anecdotal numbers, so substantial costs appear only on one side of the ledger.

    I'm all for weighing costs and benefits of all sorts of policies. Stringent voter ID policies flagrantly fail, as seen in the case in the OP. Expanding the franchise is tricky.
    IMO the policy that bends the curve the best is National ID. But that's a nonstarter for reasons I'm not super clear on.

  • maxparrish||

    Except that I don't. Statistical studies based on survey results, especially peer reviewed, are not "antidotal" - the are inferential. Like, for example, minimum wage studies that rely on survey data to arrive at inferential (and conditional) conclusions.

    I have no objection to a cost-benefit analysis of voting controls vs voting participation - however I am also aware of the great number of antidotal stories of voter suppression that are rarely (if ever) proven.

    Finally, I fully agree that a national ID, (which is not uncommon in other democracies) is a good solution - however, libertarians and the left routinely oppose it.

  • James Pollock||

    "Finally, I fully agree that a national ID, (which is not uncommon in other democracies) is a good solution"

    National ID exists. It's called a "passport". Thus far, it is not a good solution, because most voters do not have one. I believe you meant to suggest that a mandatory national ID might be a good solution... and it might, though there are problems there, as well.

    " however, libertarians and the left routinely oppose it."
    As does, generally, the right.

  • Pacific||

    It's too bad that Kobach chose not to present any such evidence; only the faux expertise of von Spakovsky and others. As a result there is now a decision on the merits against him.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    Kobach is running for governor. Its the reason he personally litigated it.

    Does the sanction hurt him in the primary or can he spin it as an arrogant open borders judge making a political decision? That is what he cares about.

  • apedad||

    YAAAAY!

    Garbage over substance.

    That should play well in Kansas.

  • bernard11||

    Who knows?

    Apparently voters in Kansas will believe anything.

  • CJColucci||

    What's the Matter With Kansas?, chapter 406.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    paragraph

    90,000,000,000

  • bernard11||

    As noted in the comments, this is not the first time SOS Kobach has been sanctioned. Last year Kobach was fined for "misleading" a federal court. Earlier this year, Kobach was also held in contempt of court for failing to comply with a court order.

    Let's not minimize.

    The judge said Kobach has a "history of non-compliance with this Court's orders," and the sanctions were "responsive to Defendant's repeated and flagrant violations of discovery and disclosure rules."

    She also harshly criticized the allegedly expert testimony of Heritage Foundation "scholar," (chuckle) and Jesse Richman of Old Dominion University.

    Spakovsky:

    "The Court gives little weight to Mr. von Spakovsky's opinion and report because they are premised on several misleading and unsupported examples of noncitizen voter registration... His myriad misleading statements, coupled with his publicly stated preordained opinions about this subject matter, convinces the Court that Mr. von Spakovsky testified as an advocate and not as an objective expert witness.....The record is replete with further evidence of Mr. von Spakovsky's bias.

    Heritage Foundation scholar!!

    Richman:

    The Court finds Dr. Richman's testimony and report about the methodology and basis for concluding that a statistically significant number of noncitizens have registered to vote in Kansas, are confusing, inconsistent, and methodologically flawed.

    Kobach's whole case was dishonest BS.

  • maxparrish||

    The judge's dismissive, highly disdainful, and imperious tone was unmistakable (and it may have influenced her sanctioning).

    The Court declared that Dr.Richman's opinion did not "carry weight given the numerous methodological flaws" and parroted the language from the only peer reviewed study of Richman's paper by Ansolabehere (to which, by the way, Richman rebutted in a working paper).

    She then proceeded to quote a non-peer reviewed letter of "200 political scientists" who "signed an open letter criticizing Richman's work on essentially the same grounds". However the letter's criticisms were based on the same Ansolabehere paper she did, (and the letter was rebutted as factually challenged by Richman in his blog).

    In essence, the judge said 'I only believe the characterizations of one expert' and 'don't believe the other expert' because Ansolabehere has such a great reputation, while dodging the debatable and factual characterizations.

    One may assume that all voting is honest, or is a mixture of honest and dishonest. But there no such thing as a "citizenship list", a "naturalization list" and a "national voting list" for comparison. Whatever the reality, the only insight available is statistical inferences from national survey databases (the only one being done by Richman).

    So it boils down to this, you either require proof of citizenship to protect against possible fraud or you ignore it and assume everyone is honest until absolutely shown otherwise.

  • bernard11||

    The judge's dismissive, highly disdainful, and imperious tone was unmistakable (and it may have influenced her sanctioning).

    Some things are worth dismissing disdainfully.

    However the letter's criticisms were based on the same Ansolabehere paper she did,

    Which is exactly what she said. They "signed an open letter criticizing Richman's work on essentially the same grounds"

  • maxparrish||

    Which is misleading. Grounds based on what, independent analysis and evaluation finding the same grounds OR is it nothing more than cheerleading someone else's data and conclusions?

    The judges dripping disdain for Mr. von Spakovsky's rigor didn't preclude her from relying on editorializing in letter that was neither academic, peer reviewed, cross-examined, or even a back of the envelope confirmation. It was a political screed.

  • maxparrish||

    "And the judges dripping disdain..." in case you are not connecting the criticism.

  • bernard11||

    The letter writers were, I assume, not claiming to have done original research. They were presumably largely endorsing Ansolabehere's work criticizing von Spakovsky's work which he claimed was sound research.

    It is not necessary to do original research to point out that a claim that 2+2=5 is wrong, or to endorse that criticism.

    von Spakovsky has a long history as a con man on this topic. I guess he's made a nice living from places like Heritage.

  • Pacific||

    von Spakovsky is a faux expert who is unfamiliar with the concept or practice of "rigor". His testimony was thoroughly discredited at trial. Did you follow the trial on a day to day basis as I did?

  • ||

    If the issue is whether a voter ID law disenfranchises blacks, it's outrageous that a black judge was allowed to hear the case, just as it was outrageous that a homosexual (Vaughn Walker) was allowed to hear the Prop 8 case.

  • jph12||

    You and I have different definitions of outrageous. Of course, I wasn't outraged at the Christian judges and justices who heard Hobby Lobby, either. Were you? Should Christian judges have been excluded from the Masterpiece Cakeshop case? Fisher v. Texas would have been an interesting oral argument--only Sotomayor asking questions because all the other justices except Thomas would have had to recuse themselves on account of their whiteness.

  • ||

    The difference is that whites heterosexual men are fairly split on these types of issues. Everyone else is usually fanatically biased toward "their" side.

  • jph12||

    Whether a particular judge is fanatically biased towards "their" side does not depend on the views of anyone else, so a white, male, heterosexual, Christian (I'm assuming leaving this off was just an oversight) judge can be just as fanatical as one who doesn't check all, or any, of those boxes.

  • James Pollock||

    OUR guys are noble and pure and fair and good. It's only THEIR guys who do bad things.

  • James Pollock||

    "If the issue is whether a voter ID law disenfranchises blacks"

    It's not. The issue is whether a voter ID law disenfranchises Americans.

  • ||

    If it disenfranchises Americans equally, it couldn't violate EP.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Perhaps, there are however, a number of other clauses in various amendments that it could violate under such conditions.

  • James Pollock||

    If you're OK with Americans being disenfranchised, feel free to back it up by staying home on election day.

  • ||

    And this is exactly why we oppose mass immigration and amnesty of illegals. Because once they get citizenship (or their anchor baby children turn 18) they'll get the same vote, and you'll say they're just as American as we are. And yet, most Americans didn't want them in the first place.

  • CJColucci||

    Most of us don't want you, either, but you can vote.

  • James Pollock||

    "And this is exactly why we oppose mass immigration and amnesty of illegals"

    Because you're not only not the sharpest knife in the drawer, you aren't even the sharpest spoon?

    "once they get citizenship"
    Neither mass immigration nor amnesty of illegals create citizenship. They create resident aliens, who (surprise!) don't get to vote.

    "their anchor baby children turn 18) they'll get the same vote, and you'll say they're just as American as we are."

    Not only are they as American as you are, they are American for the same REASON you are. Because being born in America is how Americans are Americans.

  • ||

    Right, so we don't want these people because they'll create future citizens who will be socialist leaning and vote for Democrat. And yet you people claim we have no right to control our borders and decide who comes in.

  • James Pollock||

    So, you'd be all for illegal immigration, if only the kids would grow up to vote Republican?

  • ||

    And if they didn't have an average educational and income achievement way below that of everyone else.

  • James Pollock||

    So they have to be smarter and more successful than you? Doesn't seem like much of a bar. Why not throw a TOUGH barrier in their way, like "must possess at least three fingers, total"?

  • ||

    Here's a hint: People care about their fellow countrymen when they think they share a culture and values. We share neither with nearly all of the third world immigrants who have flooded here in the past 50 years. People don't fight to defend a nation they no longer believe in. There's not a single example in the world of disparate groups living in prosperity and harmony.

  • James Pollock||

    " People care about their fellow countrymen when they think they share a culture and values. We share neither with nearly all of the third world immigrants"

    You're probably right. They want to live in America, work hard, provide a better life for their children. You don't want any of those things.

  • ||

    Provide a better life for their children, yes. That's about all they share. They don't share our commitment to the rule of law and individual rights.

  • James Pollock||

    If that were true, they'd have stayed in the places where those things were lacking, rather than wanting to come here.

  • MarkW201||

    Since the issue is a voter ID law passed by a Republican-controlled legislature, signed into law by a Republican governor, and designed by a Republican secretary of state, would it be reasonable to claim that it was "outrageous" for it to be heard by a judge appointed by a Republican president (George W. Bush)?

  • ||

    No. Because white heterosexual men are capable of objectivity (which is why a hallmark of the West is reason). Everyone else, with few exceptions, is not.

  • James Pollock||

    Since you seem incapable of objectivity, I conclude that you are not one of either white, heterosexual, or a man.

    I'm guessing it's the second one, and you hate yourself for it.

  • M.L.||

    Leftists who want to deprive Americans of constitutional rights by canceling out their votes with those of non-citizens get really worked up about efforts to ensure that only citizens are voting.

    Laughably, they'll insist that the honors system is fine and nobody would ever commit fraud, even while raving like lunatics about imaginary "interference" in elections and the sanctity of the democratic process.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Leftists who want to deprive Americans of constitutional rights by canceling out their votes with those of non-citizens

    This isn't happening.

  • ||

    Truth hurt?

  • James Pollock||

    Doesn't seem to affect you at all.

  • James Pollock||

    Here's the deal.
    You want every citizen to prove their citizenship when they register to vote? Fine. That's reasonable.
    Here's the hard part. Disenfranchising any citizen voter is unacceptable. Disenfranchising citizens because cost of compliance with the new rule was allocated to the voter instead of to the state is unconstitutional (Amendment 24).

    So, you want to require that voters provide proof of citizenship in order to register to vote, or to actually cast a ballot? Then the state (taxpayers) picks up the tab for 100% of the cost of complying with this requirement. If you propose one element (added requirements to vote) without the other element (at no cost to the voter), your partisanship is noted and the claim that your true goal is voter suppression is presumed true until proven otherwise. Also you're an enemy of the Constitution and thus, of the American people. Period.

  • ||

    I'm okay with that provided that the state pick up all of the costs of complying with requirements burdening the 2nd Amendment. That means any required background checks and training classes must be free. You on board?

  • James Pollock||

    Except that the requirement that no unpaid taxes can impede the right to vote is already part of the Constitution, and your proposed amendment is not. Get that amendment passed, and then we'll talk.

  • ||

    Another liberal liar. "Shall not be infringed" does not mean "Shall not be infringed provided that a tax is paid."

  • James Pollock||

    Sorry, I assumed you were a person of at least normal intelligence. My mistake.

  • ||

    So basically, since you don't like the RKBA, you are fine with burdensome fees and infringements. But God forbid one of your ghetto rat Democrat friends have to buy a $5 photo ID to vote to continue the food stamp payments to her 8 illegitimate children.

  • James Pollock||

    You seem to have made a number of assumptions about me, based solely on the fact that I've pointed out that you're advancing a fairly stupid line of argument. Clearly, reason is not your guide. Good luck with that.

  • ||

    LOL. I'm not the one who posted about being an enemy of the Constitution, you are.

  • James Pollock||

    "LOL. I'm not the one who posted about being an enemy of the Constitution, you are."

    So, I pointed out that if you take a position that's contrary to the Constitution, you'll get labeled anti-Constitution, and now that you've staked out your anti-Constitutional position, you're objecting to being identified as anti-Constitution based solely on your expression of anti-Constitutional position? Does that about sum it up?

    How long have you held this undisguised hatred of America and Americans?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    ghetto rat Democrat friends

    This is a good time for all of this site's faux libertarians to assure us that they are not bigots.

    And it is never a bad time for a right-winger to be asked whether he believes women should be permitted to vote.

  • ||

    The only bigot here is you.

  • jph12||

    Nah, y'all are like salt and pepper. A nice matched set.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    If right-wingers keep up with attempted vote suppression via voter ID requirements, they ought to be asked politely to cut it out. If they don't cut it out, then they ought to be informed that the response will be to take their issue away, by enfranchising all persons of voting age who are residents, regardless of citizenship. With foreseeable demographic changes, the list of states where that will become politically feasible will grow continuously.

    My suggestion for right wingers: you have a stake in political comity, don't forget it. And don't keep advocating stuff which undermines it. No one ever wins these kinds of favor-my-side advantages permanently.

  • ||

    We have much less of a stake in political comity than your side does, as we are armed to the teeth and have the technical know how to survive. Most granola eating Marathon runners in the urban areas don't. They are adept at killing fetuses and having gay sex though.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Save it for the bitter muttering at your militia meeting about all of this damned progress, with women voting, gays being treated like human beings, children eating tacos and bagels, and black men no longer compelled to lower their gaze in the presence of white women.

  • ||

  • ||

    Or maybe you mean like this?

    http://www.nj.com/opinion/inde.....night.html

  • apedad||

    ". . . have the technical know how to survive."

    I dunno...

    There are A LOT of dumb redneck videos on YouTube.

  • CJColucci||

    How did all these gay people end up with unwanted fetuses?

  • jph12||

    "If they don't cut it out, then they ought to be informed that the response will be to take their issue away, by enfranchising all persons of voting age who are residents, regardless of citizenship."

    According to Gallup, in 2016 80% of Americans supported requiring an id to vote. Where do you get the idea that the American people are so opposed to voter id laws that they would be willing to make such a drastic change to the laws?

    And I would point out that you could still have voter id laws even with your expanded franchise because residency and identity still matter.

  • zackthedog||

    That same poll also indicated 80% support for early voting and 63% support for automatic voter registration--two things many voter ID advocates object to. The problem with polling for voter ID laws is that unless you break it down into exactly what sort of requirements would actually be involved, you don't get a very accurate picture of that support. For example, what sorts of IDs would or would not be acceptable? And how well-equipped is your state to provide truly free, easily obtained voter ID cards?

    It would be interesting to see polls that reflect responses to some of the highly restrictive voter ID laws that some states have passed--or attempted to pass.

  • RPGuy16||

    This is a clear cut violation of the 8th amendment.

  • Rip Murdock||

    The 8th Amendment only applies to (criminal) bail, cruel or unusual punishments, and excessive fines, none of which apply in this case.

  • Sarcastr0||

    There can be no joking, this is the Internet!

  • tgold||

    Judge Robinson would benefit from Continuing Education in English in order to master the difference between flaunt and flout.

  • Michael Cook||

    Is it really is a daunting burden on potential voters to ask them to take enough responsibility for the high duty of citizenship to provide proof they are citizens in good standing before they vote? Why? Why should we enshrine and protect a low standard of citizen effort instead of any other standard?

    Why should it be assumed that protecting would-be voter laziness is a more critical national priority than making voter fraud much, much, much easier to detect and prove (and thereby maybe clear up a nasty political narrative based on faulty statistical reasoning.

    The ideal of democracy is not "anybody votes who wants to" while making it as difficult as possible (for all practical purposes usually impossible) to determine how many times a particular individual has voted under different permutations of their own identity, or under the names of strangers, deceased family members, or made up names.

    Respect for the rule of law is in the toilet because at the higher (Hillary) levels justice is 100% political. Respect for election results are toilet-bound head first.

    Civil wars happen when political cultures become irreconcilable. Such are tragic, ugly. and leave blood on the moon.

  • James Pollock||

    "Is it really is a daunting burden on potential voters to ask them to take enough responsibility for the high duty of citizenship to provide proof they are citizens in good standing before they vote? Why?"

    In most cases? No. In some? Yes.
    I'm currently in a state that conducts all elections by mail. Should I show my passport to the mailman so he'll know I'm a citizen, and he should go ahead and deliver my ballot to the elections office? When I was 19, I was on active duty (No, that doesn't prove I'm a citizen, because some non-citizens serve in our armed forces.) I was stationed in a totally different state from my "residence", where I maintained my voter registration, and I didn't have a lot of access to possessions that hadn't been issued to me. I would have had a very difficult time proving my citizenship at that time.

    As I detail elsewhere, setting requirements to vote is reasonable. Are you a citizen? Are you old enough to vote? But setting hoops to jump through hoping that people who'd vote for people you wouldn't will give up and not vote? No, not OK. It's sad that there are people so blinded by partisanship that they think it is.

  • ||

    I'm not terribly concerned by the idea of disenfranchising parasitic Democrats.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    You are troubled by the mistake that enables women to vote, though.

    Carry on, clingers.

  • ||

    Because women are naturally parasitic and too "compassionate." Compassion doesn't belong in the law.

  • James Pollock||

    "I'm not terribly concerned by the idea of disenfranchising parasitic Democrats."

    And yet, their votes each count exactly the same as yours, despite your lack of respect.

  • zackthedog||

    Actually, yes, it can be a daunting burden. I'm a middle-aged, well-documented white male, yet the birth certificate requirements for obtaining a driver's license or passport have changed twice in the past dozen years. I have thus had to purchase two new birth certificates from my state of birth. Fortunately I have enough money and an internet connection to be able to do this without much trouble. A lot of people don't have the time, money or resources to obtain the kind of documentation required these days.

    This isn't "voter laziness"--it's an irrevocable fact of life for a lot of people. Now if these states that insist on voter ID actually made it easy (and free) for people to obtain the proper documentation, or provide accommodation for those who can't, that would be one thing. But a lot of them don't, for the simple reason that they don't allocate the funds or the personnel for such things.

    Finally, when it's been *overtly stated* in many cases that the purpose of these new laws is to keep certain people from voting, you'll forgive me if I don't get too worked up about your concern for "rule of law."

  • ||

    If it's important to you, you make the effort. If it's not, you're probably a lazy Democrat.

  • James Pollock||

    The fact that it's important to you doesn't make it important to the clerk at the DMV or the vital records office, however.

    You're advocating a position in which some petty bottom-level bureaucrat can keep you from voting.

  • Michael Cook||

    Quit making excuses--if you want to vote, register far enough in advance that you can obtain the proper documents.

    That being said, a news report I heard recently claims that the average waiting time in some Department of Motor Vehicle Licensing offices in California is inching close to five hours! I've never stood in line longer than three hours here in Washington!

    I am a retired graduate of government work myself. The whole object, no matter what the department, is to get off the front line (where you actually have to deal with the public or hands on problems) into back-room work where God knows what you do all day except send memos to other useless people and dream up unworkable policies that will be lauded, finally kinda sorta implemented for a few months, and then allowed to quietly die so that the next great thing can come along.

    Doesn't matter what department. Good luck to the new guy at the VA swamp.

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