As I write this piece, the ink is barely dry from United States District Judge Julie Robinson’s Order, sustaining the judgment entered against Kris Kobach in Federal District Court in Kansas City.
Judge Robinson sustained Chief Magistrate Judge O’Hara’s $1,000 sanction against Kobach for his "bad faith" in purposefully misleading the Court, and dismissed Kobach’s claims that he had made "mistakes."
Judge Robinson fully approved the $1,000 sanction.
Judge O’Hara fined Kobach on June 23. Judge Robinson, the more senior sitting U.S. District Judge, could have overruled that order. However, Judge Robinson was not impressed.
Kobach blamed everyone but himself. Judge O’Hara’s previous orders in the case gave fair warning to Kobach that in his capacity as counsel of record in the case, Kobach was “an officer of the Court with a duty of candor and a duty not to assert frivolous arguments.” Despite this warning, Kobach breached this time-honored trust and so wrangled the ire of the Chief Magistrate he leveled the $1,000 fine. Then Kobach appealed to Judge Robinson.
As previously discussed, Kobach could have chosen a plethora of legal maneuvers to appease the old judge, but instead, blamed plaintiff, blamed others, blamed his rushed editing, blamed co-counsel errors and concluded that his statements weren’t really that bad. (LOL.)
Judge O’Hara saw straight through the unskillful Kobach and Judge Robinson was less than impressed by the Kobach tactics. Judge O’Hara did not go so far as to say Kobach “flat-out lied” in his statements. Judge O’Hara, according to the reviewing Judge Robinson, determined that Kobach’s statements to the Court were misleading.
And if any reader cares to see why Judge O’Hara had had enough of Kobach’s lack of candor, please read Footnote 27 of the judgment, which describes the pattern of behavior that landed Kobach in hot water in the first place.
Judge Robinson’s Footnote 27 describes three prior occasions where the Court directly warned Kobach regarding his failure to make clear and accurate statements to the Court.
Judge Robinson stated, that while they do not form the basis for denying Kobach’s motion, Judge Robinson thought it important enough for the world to know that the prior occasions show a pattern of behavior which easily demonstrates why Judge O’Hara imposed such a severe sanction in the first place.
From all this we see one inevitable and correct conclusion. Kobach and his brand of politics is one of complete consumption. The ends always justify the means.
The truth be damned. Kobach wants your support for the primary election nearly a year away. He deserves neither the fame he so shamefully seeks nor does he deserve one thin dime from informed persons in southwest Kansas.
Our last election turned the corner, and investing in Kobach would be an endorsement of past failures. The only thing that matters to Kobach, is Kobach. It’s a pretty clear record in Case No. 16CV02105-JAR-JPO now pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas.
The truth has escaped him ... again.
Gerry Schultz is a past president of the Finney County Bar, member of the 25th Judicial Nominating Commission, received the 2016 Distinguished Service Award from the Southwest Kansas Bar Association and has practiced law in Garden City since 1984.