U.S. Supreme Court refuses appeal; Phill Kline’s law license suspended indefinitely
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 29, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the appeal of the trailblazing Kansas prosecutor who investigated George Tiller and Planned Parenthood for violating state abortion law. Their ruling means that Phill Kline will continue to have his law license suspended indefinitely.
As is their usual custom, the justices did not comment on their decision to reject the case yesterday.
"This was a sad day in America's legal history, as a fine and upstanding prosecutor has suffered an outrageous injustice that cries out for some remedy,” said Tom Brejcha, the president of the Thomas More Society, which underwrote and assisted Kline's Supreme Court appeal. “It is bad enough that the guilty go free, but now an innocent man has been punished for bringing their crimes to light.”
As state attorney general and later Johnson County district attorney, Kline filed 107 charges against Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri’s (PPKM) Comprehensive Health clinic, including 23 felony charges related to covering up an alleged failure to report child sexual abuse.
Additional charges against abortion providers included falsifying records and conducting illegal late-term abortions.
The trial was first delayed and then the charges were dismissed after former Attorney General Steve Six had destroyed the copies of Termination of Pregnancy (TOP) forms in 2009.
Instead, the investigation turned on Kline, who was accused of violating 11 laws of professional conduct, including misleading others during the course of his investigations. Five of the state Supreme Court's seven justices recused themselves from his case.
The Kansas State Supreme Court upheld six of the 11 charges last October 18, suspending Phill Kline's Kansas law license indefinitely.
Kline's attorney, Thomas Condit, accused the state Supreme Court of “cherry picking” Kline's statements. Brejcha charged the court with “invoking vague 'catch all' rules” that could be applied so freely that several courts have asked they be restricted.
State justices said an "aggravating factor" was that Kline was motivated by an alleged "fervid" belief in the pro-life "cause," something the Thomas More Society called ridiculous. “If there are laws against child abuse, is it wrong that a prosecutor investigate and prosecute any violation of those laws that comes to his or her attention?” the group asked.
“The issue has always been that Planned Parenthood wanted to hold up the scalp of the only prosecutor that ever prosecuted them,” Kline’s former campaign manager, Jenn Giroux, told LifeSiteNews at the time.
In December, the state Supreme Court refused his request for a new hearing. Yesterday's U.S. Supreme Court decision allows the suspension to stand.
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Samantha Gordon, director of Public Affairs for NARAL Pro-Choice America, told RH Reality Check she was overjoyed. ”Kline broke the law when he turned the Kansas attorney general office into a bully pulpit to harass and intimidate doctors who provide critical health services to women,” she said. “Kline wasted the taxpayers money when he used his public office to drive his personal agenda.”
But Brejcha promised that somehow, he would fight to clear the name of the man Planned Parenthood considered public enemy number one.
“We will not cease our efforts to see this grievous wrong set right and Phill Kline fully vindicated – in the court of public opinion if not also in our courts,” he said. “And we are exploring every option by which we may somehow achieve that objective."