A Kansas state power structure that has been in full abortion-support mode since Kathleen Sebelius was governor may be employing a new retreat strategy after five of seven state Supreme Court judges recused themselves from hearing a case involving former Attorney General Phill Kline.
Kline famously took on an investigation of the abortion industry in Kansas when he was a state official. He ultimately filed charges against Planned Parenthood as well as a late-term abortionist operating in the state at the time.
He was defeated in his re-election bid when industry powers coalesced against him, and he’s been fighting off their claims of inappropriate investigations ever since.
Now, facing a disciplinary hearing stemming from claims he used his office as attorney general to investigate abortionists he suspected of covering up child abuse, he moved for a recusal of two of the justices. Kline cited their “layers of deception,” “deep-seated antagonism” and “caustic and deceptive opinions.”
Kline described the Supreme Court’s methods in his motion to recuse Carol Beier and Lawton Nuss.
As a result, however, three more justices also fled the case against Kline.
The other justices are Lee Johnson, Marla Luckert and Eric Rosen.
“After the Kline motion was filed, a discussion was initiated with the justices that ultimately led to their decision regarding the recusal of five out of the seven judges,” Supreme Court spokesman Ron Keefover told WND.
“All five decided to avoid the appearance of impropriety in this case,” Keefover explained.
Kline’s attorneys, according to the motion, asked for the recusal of Beier because of “her deep-seated antagonism against Mr. Kline, most notably displayed in her caustic and deceptive opinion in ‘Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood v. Kline.’”
Nuss’s recusal was sought “because of Mr. Kline’s role in reporting conduct that led to a disciplinary sanction for the chief justice in 2006,” the motion continues.
Now, five replacements will be found in coming months to take the place of the five justices who are prevented from issuing a ruling in the case.
“The court will most likely name retired judges to fill those seats,” Keefover told WND.
A decision in the case will now take until next fall at the earliest, he said.
Operation Rescue, a life-advocacy organization that once bought an abortion clinic building to close it down, has followed the case against Kline from the beginning.
“The unprecedented move [of five out of seven justices recusing themselves] opens the door for Kline to have a new panel of judges look at an ethics complaint filed by an attorney for a late-term abortionist who was trying to prevent Kline from obtaining abortion records that we now know contained evidence that abortion clinics were breaking the law,” the group said.
Kline’s 75-page motion details how Beier’s “scathing” opinions took aim at Kline, even without “the support of law” because of his investigations into violations at abortion clinics.
The motion also exposes Beier, through her own writings, as a “third-wave feminist” intent on manipulating the media to reshape public perception of abortion on demand.
“Commenting on the ‘positive power and individualism that are the hallmarks of feminism’s third-wave,’ Beier viewed the family as a mere contractual relationship, where parties are free to elect ‘the family structure they desire’ unrestricted by ‘gender-based presumptions’ of an obsolete age,” the motion reads.
“Abortion and reproductive rights are central to that theme,” it continues.
Kline’s motion details how then-governor Sebelius appointed “a vigorous abortion rights advocate” named Beier to the State Supreme Court shortly after becoming governor in 2003.
Also in 2003, Kline as attorney general “began an investigation of child abuse reporting to determine if sexual predators were using abortion clinics to destroy evidence of their crimes.”
While Kansas law criminalizes all intercourse with children under the age of 16, except for married couples, Kline noticed that abortion clinics almost never complied with the law requiring notification to authorities of suspected child abuse. Kline pointed to the evidence of abortions performed on children and obtained subpoenas for abortion clinic records.
Even though a judge agreed with Kline that the documents might contain evidence of criminal wrongdoing, the clash between Kline and the abortion industry began.
Kline’s motion details how that clash led to three lengthy opinions written by Beier that had the effect of hampering “Mr. Kline’s effort to protect children from sexual abuse, to frustrate and delay legitimate investigations, and seriously to hinder the prosecution of criminal activity by Kansas abortion providers.”
Speaking to Operation Rescue about the five judges withdrawing from Kline’s case, his attorney, Tom Condit, said, “This confirms Beier was deceptive and that her previous opinions were mere press releases for her third-wave feminism.
“The other justices joined in these deceptions – they also appointed the prosecutor and the panel which relied on those deceptions,” he continued.
“These layers of deception by this court and its appointees render this case irretrievably flawed.”
WND has previously reported other details surrounding the Kline investigation into Planned Parenthood and late-term abortionist George Tiller. An abortion-friendly district attorney dismissed charges that Kline had filed against Tiller.
The case against Planned Parenthood was continued because when Kline left the state office, he was appointed district attorney near Kansas City, where Planned Parenthood operates.
WND columnist Jack Cashill reported on charges filed against Planned Parenthood in Kansas, which included 23 felony charges of falsified abortion reports.
But then came a complication. Someone serving under Sebelius shredded key records at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment even though they were evidence in a criminal investigation.
As Cashill reported, “The Sebelius administration knew this.”
WND reported at the time that Kline said Sebelius closely monitored his investigation into the enforcement of Kansas laws regarding child rape and late-term abortion violations as these were major campaign issues in 2002 and would likely be again in 2006.
What remains of the case against Planned Parenthood is a long list of lesser counts.
Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, said the abortion industry has been churning along in his state of Kansas.
“Literally hundreds of children in Kansas may be currently at risk of abuse, and no one is looking into it,” he said. “We have asked Attorney General Derek Schmidt to reopen Kline’s under-reporting investigation, but he has yet to respond to us.”
Newman said, “It appears that since Kline was so maliciously maligned for trying to do his duty, the current attorney general’s office fears getting involved lest the same thing happen to them. … If that is true, I don’t know how they sleep at night knowing that their inaction is condemning little girls to unspeakable abuse.”