Articles Posted in U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

by
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." View "Fish v. Kobach" on Justia Law

by
The Independence Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, conducts research and educates the public on public policy. During the 2014 Colorado gubernatorial campaign, the Institute intended to air an advertisement on Denver-area television that was critical of the state’s failure to audit its new health care insurance exchange. The Institute was concerned that the ad qualified as an “electioneering communication” under the Colorado Constitution and, therefore, to run it the Institute would have to disclose the identity of financial donors who funded the ad. The Institute resisted the disclosure requirement, arguing that the First Amendment prohibited disclosure of donors to an ad that is purely about a public policy issue and is unrelated to a campaign. The Tenth Circuit court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment to the Colorado Secretary of State. "Colorado’s disclosure requirements, as applied to this advertisement, meet the exacting scrutiny standard articulated by the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. . . . The provision serves the legitimate interest of informing the public about the financing of ads that mention political candidates in the final weeks of a campaign, and its scope is sufficiently tailored to require disclosure only of funds earmarked for the financing of such ads." View "Independence Institute v. Williams" on Justia Law