Unprecedented: Five Kansas Supreme Court justices recuse themselves in Kline case
Read my previous post here.
Only four days after former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline filed a blistering motion asking that two Kansas Supreme Court justices recuse themselves from deciding whether to suspend his law license, the Supremes announced yesterday that FIVE of the seven would be doing so.
Their rationale, according to the The Topeka Capital-Journal:
The five justices voluntarily stepped aside, citing the Kansas Code of Judicial Conduct rule that requires recusal when a judge “previously presided as a judge over the matter in another court.”
Without ever mentioning Kline’s motion, the five stated it “would not be possible” for them to give Kline an unbiased trial, since they had ordered the very disciplinary hearing that resulted in Kline being brought before them.
Kline attorney Tom Condit proclaimed a victory but added in a statement the move only demonstrated the case was “irretrievably flawed.”
This is because the two left to decide Kline’s case are Sebelius appointees, and the five recusers will choose their own replacements from a lower court.
Kathleen Sebelius is the former pro-abortion governor of Kansas, now U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary. Sebelius repeatedly erected political and legal roadblocks to thwart AG Kline’s investigation of two late-abortion clinics for illegal abortions of children and fraudulent reporting to the state.
Kline’s investigation found that during a time when over 160 Kansas children 14 and younger had abortions in Kansas, late-term abortionist George Tiller and Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood each only reported one case of child sex abuse. This evidence, however, was squelched by orders from the Kansas Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Carol Beier (one of the recusers) and actions of former Attorneys General Paul Morrison and Stephen Six.
Furthermore, it was learned only last year that Sebelius’s Kansas Health Department shredded documents in 2005 that provided evidence that Planned Parenthood filed false reports to try to cover its tail after Kline launched his investigation.
On that point Condit concluded in his statement:
The recusing Justices, after reading Mr. Kline’s motion, suddenly discovered that they had previously complained about Mr. Kline’s behavior, and thus should not hear the appeal. This fact was known to them when the appeal was filed last fall – over six months ago….
The court has known its claimed reason for recusal for years and only acted four days after Mr. Kline’s motion was filed.