Outgoing Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is reportedly on President Donald Trump’s list to be the next attorney general. For voter suppression enthusiasts, this would be a big win. But for those of us who value the fundamental right to vote, and those of us appalled by the massive voter suppression efforts on Tuesday—some of which are ongoing, cough, Georgia—a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) headed up by Kris Kobach would be a disaster.
This wouldn’t be the first time that Trump tapped Kobach to work for him in some capacity. He served as an adviser on the now-defunct Election Integrity Commission, which Trump formed to help him prove the preposterous lie that anywhere from 3 million to 5 million people illegally voted in the 2016 elections. Kobach has also been floated as a potential replacement should Kirstjen Nielsen be dismissed from her secretary of homeland security position.
When he was Kansas secretary of state, Kobach made disenfranchising voters central to his work. There’s little reason to believe his time at the DOJ would be any different. While Kobach would not be in a position to enact any laws, he would be in a position to have the DOJ stand with states who do. For example, Obama’s DOJ opposed Texas’s voter ID law, but with Jeff Sessions at the helm, the DOJ reversed course and submitted briefs supporting it. Given Kobach’s performance trying to defend the voter suppression laws he helped to create in his home state, we can expect him to do so at the DOJ—equally incompetently.
One case in particular, Fish v. Kobach, is a prime example of Kobach’s utter ineptitude when it comes to defending his voter suppression tactics.
The Fish v. Kobach saga began in 2013. During that time, Kobach