CNN Legal Analyst Tells Kansas Governor Candidate Kris Kobach He 'Devoted His Career to Stopping Black People from Voting'

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin issued a blistering critique of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach on Wednesday.

Kobach, who is Kansas' Republican gubernatorial candidate, was defending President Donald Trump's intention to end birthright citizenship.

The Kansas candidate had previously said on Fox News that the 14th Amendment does not mean that people born in the U.S. receive citizenship, a statement that is strongly refuted by legal experts, according to the Associated Press.

CNN host Anderson Cooper questioned Kobach's Constitutional expertise. Toobin said that "Kris has devoted his career to stopping black people and poor people from voting".

The secretary of state, who served as vice-chairman of the Trump administration's disbanded panel to investigate "election integrity," pushed against the criticism. "That's an outrageous accusation," he said.

Toobin did not back down. "That's why you had this phony voter suppression commission that was such a preposterous joke, established by the president, that it disbanded because it couldn't prove your claim that voter fraud is a problem in this country."

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Republican candidate for governor of Kansas Kris Kobach speaks at a rally with President Donald Trump at the Kansas Expocenter on October 6. Scott Olson/Getty Images

Voter fraud has often been used as a justification, mostly by Republicans, for disenfranchizing voters -- usually non-white, or poorer -- that they feel might vote against them.

Kobach has been a leading voice in campaigning for the idea, pushed by the far-right, the President and Fox News, that voter fraud is a pervasive and dangerous problem across the country, even though experts have repeatedly disputed the idea.

Kobach has repeated baseless claims by the president that millions of people voted illegally in 2016. And he has pushed for more stringent voter identification laws, saying they would help prevent such fraud, a policy that has also been debunked.

Earlier this year, a federal judge struck down a Kansas law, which sought to make voters prove they are U.S. citizens before casting a ballot. Kobach, who had championed the law and represented himself during the trial, received a stern rebuke from Judge Julie Robinson.

Robinson's judgment offered a scathing review on Kobach's claim that the admittedly small number of Kansas noncitizens who had tried to vote only represnted a percentage of real voter fraud. She denied his "tip of the iceberg" claim, writing "the Court draws the more obvious conclusion that there is no iceberg; only an icicle, largely created by confusion and administrative error."

In the ruling, Robinson ordered that Kobach refresh his legal education, a response to his "repeated and flagrant violations" of court procedures. She accused him of exhibiting a pattern of "flaunting disclosure and discovery rules that are designed to prevent prejudice and surprise at trial."

Kobach's gubernatorial campaign did not comment prior to publication.

CNN Legal Analyst Tells Kansas Governor Candidate Kris Kobach He 'Devoted His Career to Stopping Black People from Voting' | U.S.
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