Quoting one of the original founders of the country, the Republican attorney general of Kansas is suing the state’s Democratic governor, saying she is violating a new law by allowing transgender people to change their gender identity on driver’s licenses.
Attorney General Kris Kobach filed the lawsuit in state court on Friday to stop Gov. Laura Kelly and the state’s Division of Vehicles from allowing trans people to change the sex on driver’s licenses and other official documents to align with their gender identity. Kobach contends the actions are in violation of the law SB180, known as the Women’s Bill of Rights, passed over Kelly’s veto and which defines gender identity as binary and for official purposes determined by sex at birth.
In the lawsuit, Kobach says the law requires government agencies to cease issuing documents that do not align with a person’s sex at birth and to correct past documents.
“The Governor cannot pick and choose which laws she will enforce and which laws she will ignore,” Kobach wrote in the suit, later adding, “In the words of John Adams, we have ‘A government of laws, and not of men.’”
Kelly countered Kobach’s claims, saying her administration is following policy resulting from a 2018 settlement with the federal government requiring transgender people to change their gender identity on their birth certificates, rather than the state law.
“While the attorney general has a well-documented record of wasteful and political lawsuits, Governor Kelly is faithfully executing the laws of the state and has directed her administration to as well,” Brianna Johnson, a spokesperson for Kelly, said in a statement provided to the Reflector. “We look forward to the Kansas Department of Revenue being able to present its case in court.”
While Kelly is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, it does include a quote to the Associated Press where she says agencies under her control will “keep in place [its] policies regarding gender markers on . . . driver’s licenses.”
The lawsuit seeks an order from the court directing state agencies to cease issuing driver’s licenses that reflect “sex other than the person’s sex at birth” and to correct all previously changed documents as well.