By Associated Press - Monday, June 18, 2018

WICHITA, Kan. — A federal judge has ruled Kansas cannot require proof of U.S. citizenship to register to vote, a setback for Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in a case with national implications for voting rights.

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson sided with voters Monday that Kansas cannot require people who register to vote to provide documents such as a birth certificate, U.S. passport or naturalization papers. The decision in a couple of consolidated cases makes permanent earlier temporary rulings.

The judge said the Kansas requirement violates the right to vote under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Kobach, a conservative Republican running for governor, had to prove at trial that Kansas had a problem with noncitizens voting.

An appeal is likely, but an appeals court had previously backed Robinson’s preliminary injunction.

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