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Kansas judge strikes down voter ID law

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A federal judge struck down a Kansas law requiring proof of U.S. citizenship to register to vote in a decision on Monday that could make voter registration easier in the state in the run-up to November mid-term elections.

The ruling ended a two-year legal battle in which Democrats argued that such ID laws targeted voters who typically support their party, such as the young and minorities. Republican proponents of the law said it was necessary to ensure the integrity of elections.

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It was one of numerous voter ID laws passed by Republican-led state legislatures in recent years.

Supporters of the law included Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, one of the United States’ most prominent voter fraud crusaders and an adviser to President Donald Trump on the issue.

Judge Julie Robinson found that the law “disproportionately impacted duly qualified registration applicants, while only nominally preventing noncitizen voter registration.”

She ordered Kobach, who is seeking the Republican nomination for Kansas governor, to take more hours of continuing legal education after she found him in contempt of court during the trial and chided him for legal missteps.

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Kobach’s office did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed suit in February 2016 challenging the Kansas law as a violation of the National Voter Registration Act, which allows individuals to register to vote at state motor vehicles offices with no more documentation than they would need to obtain a driver’s license.

The law, which took effect in 2013, required individuals to present a U.S. passport, birth certificate or other proof of citizenship in order to register to vote.

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“These requirements have had one purpose only – to decrease citizen participation in Kansas elections, in ways that weaken our democracy,” the ACLU said in a statement in response to Robinson’s ruling.

Kobach argued during the trial that 129 non-U.S. citizens had voted or registered to vote in Kansas since 2000, a number he said was merely the “tip of the iceberg.”

Trump has contended, without evidence, that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election he won. Most state election officials and election law experts say that U.S. voter fraud is rare.

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Reporting by Andrew Hay in Taos, New Mexico; Editing by Paul Tait


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Mitch McConnell crony running for Kentucky AG is ineligible for office: lawsuit

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On Tuesday, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported that a new lawsuit seeks to remove Daniel Cameron from the ballot as the Kentucky GOP's nominee for state attorney general.

According to the lawsuit, filed by retired union worker and "concerned citizen" Joseph Leon Jackson Sr. in Jefferson Circuit Court, Cameron does not meet the office requirement of having practiced law for eight years — because although he was admitted by the Kentucky Bar Association in 2011, he spent two of the following years clerking for U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove.

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Trump lashes out at Lindsey Graham after he accuses the president of showing ‘weakness’

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President Donald Trump and Sen. Lindsey Graham, once bitter enemies, have become close allies since the 2016 election as the South Carolina Republican realized it was in his personal interest to cozy up to the White House. But on Tuesday, fractures emerged between the two in public over a key issue for Graham: Iran.

Graham is on the severely hawkish wing of the Republican Party, and he clearly wants a war with Iran. He began a series of tweets Tuesday by praising Vice President Mike Pence’s briefing that day about the recent attack on Saudi oil infrastructure, saying he believes that “such a sophisticated attack could not have occurred without Iran’s blessing and direct involvement.” He called it an “an act of war” and lauded the Trump administration’s “efforts to create a regional coalition, thoroughly brief the Congress on the actions taken, and come up with a plan of action to restore deterrence against an evil regime in Iran.”

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Rick Santorum rips into Corey Lewandowski’s ‘flippant’ admission that he’s happy to lie to the media

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During his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, President Donald Trump's former campaign adviser Corey Lewandowski — who was hoping to leverage his appearance trashing Democrats and the Russia investigation for a Senate run in New Hampshire — was forced to admit that he constantly lies on air.

On CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," even former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), a staunch defender of the president, was aghast at this.

"Senator, isn't it kind of a weird way to run for Senate by admitting that you're happy to lie to the American people?" asked Cooper. "I know he was phrasing it as lying to the media, lying to reporters, but, you know, it's not as if — the end result is you're lying to the American people. You are giving people false information. And you're fine with that? You have no moral problem with that?"

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