TOPEKA – (June 2, 2020) – Kansas will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision of a federal appeals court that struck down the Kansas statute requiring first-time voters to provide documentary proof of their citizenship as part of the voter registration process, Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.
Schmidt said he has consulted with Secretary of State Scott Schwab and the two agree the April 29, 2020, decision should be appealed. The attorney general issued the following statement:
“Voting is only for citizens, and this Kansas law is designed to confirm the citizenship of those registering to vote. After reviewing the appeals court’s decision, we have concluded there is a reasonable basis for appeal. Therefore, we intend to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. We are mindful that some who voted for this legislation now say they have changed their minds and complain about the cost of defending the law they supported. For them, the Legislature convenes tomorrow and they are free to seek repeal of the statute. But as long as the Legislature and the Governor leave this law on the books, we remain committed to giving it a full and robust legal defense.”
The combined case is Fish v. Schwab, No. 18-3133, and Bednasek v. Schwab, No. 18-3134. The documentary proof of citizenship requirement was part of the Secure and Fair Elections (SAFE) Act passed by the Legislature in 2011; the bipartisan vote on that legislation was 111-11 in the House of Representatives and 36-3 in the Senate.