Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Kansas House decides it won't dance with the mob & lets up on abortion doctor

By Diane Silver

The effort in the Kansas House to turn our law enforcement system over to a mob seems to have stalled. Leaders say they won't press for a resolution ordering Attorney General Paul Morrison to file criminal charges against George Tiller, a Wichita abortion provider.

That resolution was based on an 1879 law that has never been used to prosecute an individual. If such a resolution were to pass, it would set up a showdown between the AG and Legislature.

It would also put everyone in the state in danger, and that includes the folks in Operation Rescue who desperately want lawmakers to intervene in the judicial process. These are the people who rallied at the Statehouse this week to force passage of the resolution.

Subverting the judicial process is a seriously bad idea.

Don't these folks have any imagination? Don't they realize that if indictment-by-mob becomes the rule that the torch-carrying pursuers could one day turn on them?

If these folks win, then any group of voters -- aka The Mob -- could pressure lawmakers for prosecutions. What fun that would be.

Oh wait... I wonder... Is anyone up for a Statehouse rally to force Morrison to prosecute Fred Phelps? Could we indict him on failing to have a heart? Lacking humanity? Being a serious bore?

But I digress...

The chair of the House Federal and State Affairs Committee, which attempted to slam the resolution through the House, now says he wants to let the AG do his work. Ultra-conservative House Speaker Melvin Neufeld now says of Morrison: “We’re going to let him do his job.”

There's a truly radical thought.

Meanwhile, some lawmakers are speculating that (a) the whole idea blew up in Republicans' faces and/or (b) it was all for show to placate a restless fundamentalist base.
Photo: What else? The mob from the original movie Frankenstein.


Scott Qualls said...

Yes the Kansas Attorney General’s office truly is ruled by a mob, and that mob is made up of the abortion industry, their political action groups, and the politicians they paid for by spending millions on elections and smear campaigns.

Phil Kline spent two years in court battling against the abortion industry, including George Tiller as well as Planned Parenthood (who used our tax dollars to pay for their defense) gathering the appropriate evidence of the crimes committed by Tiller in performing late-term abortions in violation of existing Kansas laws. The Kansas Supreme Court ruled that yes there was probable cause to investigate, the evidence supported prosecution, and the charges were finally filed. Two separate judges then ruled that there was sufficient evidence to proceed with the cases. However the district attorney of Tiller’s Sedgwick County, Nola Tedesco Foulston, who has close ties to Tiller and received campaign donations from his wife, filed for dismissal of the charges, and her judge, Judge Paul Clark, who received campaign contributions from Foulston as well as Tiller's lawyers, decided he would dismiss the charges on jurisdictional grounds with only days left in Kline's term. Kline filed an appeal that would have led to reinstatement of the charges, but after he left office the appeal was dismissed at the request of the new AG Paul Morrison…

Paul Morrison, a man who was bought and paid for by campaign assistance from abortion industry political action committees, including "ProKanDo" George Tiller's PAC and other "non-profit" organizations supported by pro-abortionists. Paul Morrison, a man who subpoenaed thousands of medical records for investigations during his term as Johnson County DA, yet criticized Kline as “invading privacy” by subpoenaing anonymous abortion records. Paul Morrison, a man who said, before he ever saw the evidence in the cases, that he would not pursue prosecution. This is the pro-abortion mob that is ruling Kansas AG's office.

Kansas law doesn't allow abortions past 22 weeks except in certain circumstances which must be verified by a second physician. The charges allege the abortions were beyond 22 weeks, and didn't have the proper medical support. Let the law of the land rule. I say give Tiller his day in court to answer the charges. But Tiller, Morrison and their crowd say, Let the mob rule!

Diane Silver said...

Here are a couple of things for folks to consider in this case.

(1) First, there's the issue of a group of people using this obscure law to force an indictment. This is scary stuff.

Do you really want to live in a state where a bunch of people can decide they don't like you and force the attorney general to file criminal charges against you?

You appear to be a man of strong conviction. I suspect that you, like me, can make people angry. I know for a fact that many people -- the majority of Kansas voters who ousted Kline from the AG's office, for example -- don't agree with you. That means you could easily become the target of a mob, just like I, as a liberal lesbian, could be targeted.

If indictments become unpopularity contests, then we are are all in danger.

(2) It's true that ProKanDo, a PAC affiliated with Tiller, funded mailings that attacked Kline during the election. It's also true that anti-abortion organizations attacked Morrison and gave donations to Kline. Much or all of Kline's base is very anti-abortion. So, who has bought whom?

(3) The Kansas Supreme Court ruled on the narrow legal issues involving the records and did NOT say anything about probably cause. Of the February 2006 ruling, The Wichita Eagle reported:
Abortion patients' privacy must be protected if a court orders clinic medical records turned over to Attorney General Phill Kline, the Kansas Supreme Court said Friday.

While the high court did NOT rule on probable cause, it did have some angry words for Kline and noted that Kline might well be guilty of contempt for his actions in the case. Here is the Eagle's full account of that:


The court reserved its harshest words for Kline's remarks and actions at a news conference where he discussed the case, and for a brief he filed in the case. Justice Beier said Kline attached sealed records to a brief he knew would be unsealed, called the news conference to respond to criticism from the clinics, then provided electronic copies of a sealed transcript.

"In essence, Kline has told this court that he did what he did simply because he believed that he knew best how he should behave, regardless of what this court had ordered, and that his priorities should trump whatever priorities this court had said," Beier wrote.

"The actions complained of here might well be characterized as criminal contempt in a different case," she wrote. However, the court concluded, "he should not be held in contempt at this time."


(3) Morrison is investigating. He has said he has put an experienced assistant AG on this case full time. Shouldn't we give him a chance and find out what he actually does?

(4) We are all -- you, me, Tiller -- innocent until proven guilty. Let's remember that when we debat these issues here.

(5) Finally, I find it odd that such fury is incited by misdemeanor charges.

Diane Silver said...

Uh huh, there are more than a few typos in my reply, but there's one that really bugs me: I meant to say probable cause. And once again, the Kansas Supreme Court has never ruled on that issue.

Instead the state's highest court ruled on how much detail could be in medical records turned over to Kline. The details he wanted included not only patient's names, but their sexual history. Needless to say, the high court said no to that.

Diane Silver said...

Finally found the Kansas Supreme Court ruling, and the court's statement of the issues in the case. Here it is word-for-word in all its legalese glory.

And if folks look closely, you'll be able to see that the Kansas Supreme Court did not consider probable cause to be one of the issues under consideration. In other words, the court did not rule on whether there was probable cause for misdemeanor charges to be filed against Tiller.

Here's what the ruling says:

The parties' pleadings and briefs raise several issues: (1) Is mandamus an appropriate avenue for relief? (2) To what degree, if any, must the inquisition subpoenas be limited because of the patients' constitutional right to privacy? (3) To what degree, if any, must the inquisition subpoenas be limited because of the Kansas statutory physician-patient privilege? (4) To what extent, if any, are the petitioners entitled to be further informed regarding the purpose and scope of the inquisition? (5) Should the nondisclosure provisions of the subpoenas be enforced? and (6) Should the attorney general be held in contempt for speaking publicly about matters held under seal in this court?

By the way "mandamus" is an order from a higher court to lower court.

Scott Qualls said...

I’m not an attorney, and “probable cause” was the wrong term to use. The Kansas Supreme Court ruled that Kline could investigate the abortionists where he believed crimes were committed. Later, when the charges were filed, two lower courts found there is sufficient evidence to proceed with the prosecution. The only question now is- Will Morrison enforce the laws of Kansas?

Yes I am anti-abortion/pro-life and I support Kline, however I am not being investigated by the Attorney General. George Tiller used political means to stop a prosecution against him. He wanted an AG who would look the other way, and Morrison is his man. It is truly disgraceful what has happened.

The fact is this was an election bought and paid for by the abortion industry, which is well-funded by the money it makes killing close to 4000 unborn babies each day. Because they were afraid of Phil Kline’s integrity, they paid for market analysis, advertising experts, direct mailing, and out of state phone solicitors to create a false impression of a man who was trying to actually do his job. Prosecutors regularly look at medical records during investigations, so the “invasion of privacy” issue was simply used as a scare tactic, and it worked.

Premature babies are now surviving after less than 22 weeks gestation. The Kansas law applies to babies after 22 weeks. The law says the first conviction for killing one of these babies is a misdemeanor; any subsequent charges would be felonies. In my opinion the first conviction should be a felony, but the law's the law.

Yes in our court system we are all innocent until proven guilty. The courts have said there is enough evidence to prosecute Tiller, so let him stand trial in all of his innocence.

Diane Silver said...


First, I want to say thanks for the calm tone of your comment. I appreciate it when folks can come and be civil. Many thanks.

You say that "two lower courts said there was sufficient evidence to proceed with prosecution." Which two courts do you mean? That question isn't asked in a nasty way. I'm asking only to get information. I want to make certain you and I are thinking of the same thing. Would you elaborate? Many thanks!

You talk about how the election was "bought and paid for by the abortion industry." However, Morrison beat Kline by a vote of nearly 60 percent to 40 percent. That's huge. That's landslide territory.

Do you really believe that 60 percent of the voters of Kansas are so ignorant as to be fooled by what you describe as unfair tactics? that's a lot of folks to be taken in.

What I saw happen in the election was that people wanted someone who would simply be the attorney general and who would not press his own agenda. They voted for Morrison because Morrison is/was a prosecutor first and foremost.

Finally, I think you misunderstood what I said about you and I both being in danger if Morrison had caved in to legislative pressure. I'm not saying that either of us has committed any crime, but only that no attorney general can afford to let any group of people pressure him or her to prosecute anyone. Actually, no AG can afford to let a group (I called it a mob) pressure him to not prosecute.

Scott Qualls said...


I try to stay calm about these abortion issues about which I am very emotional. I don’t want to argue. I want to help people see my point of view. I can tell that you are someone who cares about people and “peace on earth, goodwill toward men” so I think you may be able to understand my strong emotions and convictions on this subject. My goodwill extends especially to those tiny babies who are most innocent among us. It is a topic that makes me alternately very sad and very mad…So I hope I am making sense to you.…

After consulting with the Sedgwick County District Attorney, Kline filed charges against Tiller on December 21, 2006. At that time Sedgwick County District Court Judge Eric Yost reviewed the evidence and found “probable cause to believe that crimes have been committed and probable cause to believe that the defendant, Tiller, committed the crimes,” basically saying there is sufficient evidence to prosecute.

Judge Clark who dismissed the case on jurisdictional grounds did not see any of the evidence from the case, and in dismissing it he disregarded the fact that the attorney general has authority under the law meant to protect late-term viable babies from routine abortions, to obtain reports concerning abortions (K.S.A. 445) and prosecute in the county of these cases of special investigations called 'inquisitions.' (K.S.A. 22-3101.) This is what Kline had intended to appeal until Morrison dropped the appeal.

The other judge I mentioned found probable cause and issued subpoenas to Tiller’s abortion business. I don’t know that judge’s name.