Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Kansas: Judge refuses to back Phill Kline, but outgoing attorney general appoints special prosecutor

[updated 12/28/06]

The latest on Phill Kline vs George Tiller with a little mud and politics thrown at Paul Morrison: A Sedgwick County judge ruled that Kline doesn't have jurisdiction to charge the Wichita abortion provider. Meanwhile, Kline appointed a special prosecutor and vowed to go forward despite the judge's ruling.

My question is legal, and I honestly don't have an answer to this one. If the attorney general doesn't have jurisdiction in this case, how can a special prosecutor appointed by the AG have jurisdiction? Anyone?


* Kline noted that Morrison can abolish the special prosecutor's job when he takes office Jan. 8, but asked Morrison not to do that.

*Sedgwick County District Attorney Nola Foulston said she would not allow a special prosecutor to file charges against Tiller. "If somebody is going to prosecute, it's going to be this office," she said, noting she has asked Kline for all the documents in the case.

* The Kansas City Star put it all in perspective by writing that Kline is abusing his authority even though the Kansas Supreme Court warned him not to do so. Kline wants to prosecute Tiller for taking the mental health of the patient into account. The Kansas Supreme Court stated:
“Until the United State Supreme Court or the federal Constitution says otherwise, however, the mental health of the pregnant woman remains a consideration necessary to ensure the constitutionality of the Kansas criminal abortion statute.”

12/28 Update:

The Wichita Eagle has the best blow-by-blow coverage of the hearing before Judge Clark and the legal issues involved. One interesting bit of trivia is that Kline did not argue the case before Clark, but instead had an assistant do it.

The Lawrence Journal-World has the best perspective on the anti-abortion activist appointed by Kline as special prosecutor.

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