Bar Exams in the Pandemic JURIST Digital Scholars
Supreme Court declines to consider appeal to reinstate Kansas voter ID law
© WikiMedia (MarkBuckawicki)
Supreme Court declines to consider appeal to reinstate Kansas voter ID law

The US Supreme Court refused Monday to review an appeal seeking to reinstate Kansas’ voter identification law. The case, Schwab v. Fish, was appealed from the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

The appeal by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt sought to authorize the state’s requirements of proof of citizenship for voter registration, photo identification for in-person voting, and driver’s license and signature verification for mail-in voting by overturning the Tenth Circuit’s decision.

The appeal cited an Indiana voter identification law requiring a photo identification presented when voting in person as justification for Kansas’ requirements:

This Court’s decision in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, 553 U.S. 181 (2008), set the stage for this dispute. There, this Court upheld an “Indiana statute requiring citizens voting in person on election day, or casting a ballot in person at the office of the circuit court prior to election day, to present photo identification issued by the government.” In the wake of Crawford, the Kansas Legislature refined its election security laws in several ways bypassing the Kansas Secure and Fair Elections (SAFE) Act. See 2011 Kan. Sess. Laws 795–825 (codified in relevant part at Kan. Stat. Ann. § 25-2309). The SAFE Act had three principal components: (i) those seeking to register to vote in Kansas must provide documentary proof of citizenship; (ii) those seeking to cast their vote in person must provide photographic identification; and (iii) those seeking to cast their vote by mail must have their signature verified and provide a full Kansas driver’s license or non-driver identification number.

The court’s denial means the Tenth Circuit’s decision stands.