Fish v. Kobach, No. 16-3147 (10th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
The issue presented by this matter for the Tenth Circuit's review centered on whether section 5 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) preempted a Kansas law requiring documentary proof of citizenship ("DPOC") for voter registration as applied to the federally-mandated voter-registration form that is part of any application to obtain or renew a driver's license. The U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas granted a motion for a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the Kansas DPOC requirements, holding that plaintiffs-appellees made a strong showing that the Kansas law was preempted by NVRA section 5. Defendant-appellant Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach appealed the district court’s entry of the preliminary injunction, which required him to register to vote any applicants previously unable to produce DPOC and to cease enforcement of Kansas’s DPOC requirement with respect to individuals who apply to register to vote at the Kansas Department of Motor Vehicles ("DMV") through the "motor voter" process. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals found after review that the district court did not abuse its discretion in granting the preliminary injunction because the NVRA preempted Kansas's DPOC law as enforced against those applying to vote while obtaining or renewing a driver's license. "Having determined that Secretary Kobach has failed to make this showing, we conclude that the DPOC required by Kansas law is more than the minimum amount of information necessary and, therefore, is preempted by the NVRA. We affirm the grant of
a preliminary injunction."