November 15, 2012 ( – Former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline appeared before the state’s Supreme Court today to answer to charges of ethical misconduct. The hearing was the latest episode in what pro-life groups have charged is a politically motivated witch hunt against the only prosecutor ever to successfully file charges against Planned Parenthood.

“I will say that my office acted with integrity and with full compliance with ethical rules and the rules of law, and endeavored forthright in every instance,” Kline told the court.

At stake is Kline’s law license, which prosecutors have recommended be revoked. However, a guilty verdict would also deal a final, if only symbolic blow to his attempts to bring Planned Parenthood and late-term abortionist George Tiller to justice.


As Attorney General Kline brought 107 charges of performing illegal post-viability abortions and falsifying records against Planned Parenthood. That resulted in a backlash that has forced him to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, and innumerable hours in courtrooms defending himself from highly technical allegations that he misled officials in the course of his investigation.

Disciplinary administrator Stan Hazlett told the court today, “This kind of misconduct would have been prosecuted no matter who the prosecutor was.”

However, Kline’s lawyer argued that the case boils down to who Kline was prosecuting, not how he went about doing his job.

“I always smile when I hear judges, prosecutors and attorneys saying about a case, ‘This isn’t about abortion’,” Tom Condit said. “Let me tell you, folks, it’s always about abortion.”

Operation Rescue’s Troy Newman, who was at the hearing today, told that Kline’s decision to go after Planned Parenthood “unleashed literally the demons from hell upon him.”

Newman says the ethics trial is “simple political retribution” designed to foist Kline’s “head on the pike of the London Bridge, to show the world that this is what happens to people who dare to cross the line.”

Newman said that prosecutors appear to be basing their case entirely on “inferences and nuances” about what Kline may have known or not known, rather than any real evidence. “They’re trying to hang the guy on very circumstantial inferences about his character,” he said.

Meanwhile, even as prosecutors sifted through tens of thousands of pages of documents seeking evidence of alleged misdeeds on the part of Kline, the case against Planned Parenthood languished. The final charges against the abortion giant were dismissed earlier this year amidst revelations that key evidence had been destroyed under the administration of Governor Kathleen Sebelius. Sebelius, a well-known abortion supporter, is now the head of Health and Human Services under the Obama administration.

It is not known when the Supreme Court will issue a decision in the ethics case. However, Newman says that if the past is any indication, it will likely be many months, possibly even more than a year.