Steve Six was a thorn in the side of pro-life advocates in Kansas wanting to hold the abortion industry there accountable for violating late-term abortion laws, but you wouldn’t know that by his responses at a Senate committee hearing.
President Barack Obama nominated the pro-abortion former Kansas state attorney general to serve on the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, setting up another battle over abortion and a top judicial pick. Obama selected former Kansas Attorney General Steve Six and he faced a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday.
In October, 2007, District Attorney Phill Kline filed 107 charges including 23 felonies, against the Planned Parenthood abortion business for allegedly violating state law. Kline alleged the abortion business potentially engaged in illegal abortions and violated state record-keeping laws by changing abortion data in an attempt to cover up late abortions done outside Kansas law.
After Kline filed the charges, Six, who was appointed by pro-abortion ex-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (now the Obama Secretary for Health and Human Services), placed a gag order on a state judge who allowed Kline access to Planned Parenthood abortion files needed to prove his case. Anderson was told not to comply with the District Attorney’s subpoenas by Six’s office even though two judges determined that the files show “probable cause” that the abortion business violated state abortion laws and falsified medical records.
During the hearing, according to the Washington Examiner, pro-life Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the panel, asked Six about abortion and whether he believed the new Kansas law that bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy based on the scientific data showing unborn children can feel intense pain is consistent with U.S. Supreme Court decisions. The question is important because, if abortion advocates ever file a lawsuit challenging the law, Six would likely determine its fate if he becomes a member of the appeals court.
Six avoided the question, the Examiner indicates. http://washingtonexaminer.com/news/2011/05/appeals-court-nominee-dodges-abortion-question
“When I was attorney general I did not evaluate that issue and since I have gone into private practice, I haven’t had any similar issues like that come out and I haven’t read the Kansas statute,” Six replied. “I simply haven’t studied it, senator.”
Grassley asked him about the Planned Parenthood charges and whether anyone from the Sebelius administration or Planned Parenthood pressured him to not pursue them and Six replied that he had never had any discussions of the issue with Sebelius.
Six also, as the Examiner reported, “carefully skirted” questions about why he did not reopen the investigation his predecessor started against the abortion business.
“When I was appointed I stepped into some of those challenging issues,” Six said. “They certainly weren’t any issues I sought out, but I tried to handle it in the most professional way that I could.”
He indicated he allowed he deputy officials to handle the case and did not question or overturn their decisions.
Six also told the panel he relied on the Kansas Supreme Court to handle the discussion of the Planned Parenthood medical records Kline received, saying he was “very sensitive to always bring it to the court and let the court make the decision.” But Six had sued Judge Richard Anderson, who allowed Kline access to the files, and asked that abortion reports Anderson had previously obtained be given back to him so he could give them to the Overland Park Planned Parenthood under investigation.
Operation Rescue told LifeNews.com at the time that it was concerned about Six’s efforts to keep important evidence out of the hands of prosecutors and called his actions a blatant obstruction of justice.
“Six has been acting like he is on Planned Parenthood’s payroll. His actions have been grossly inappropriate for a state’s ‘Top Cop,’” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.
“The records show overt actions taken by Six in direct response to Kline’s prosecution that were designed to make sure incriminating evidence against Planned Parenthood was never used against them in court, ” Newman added. “When Six’s efforts to deny evidence to Kline were finally exposed, Six had no choice but to backtrack. His pleadings made him look guilty as sin in an obvious abortion cover up.”
“Steve Six has a lot to answer for,” Newman concluded. “The charges of illegal late-term abortions and making false representations to authorities to cover for other crimes are serious charges that deserve to have a fair hearing in court. Steve Six placed himself between a county prosecutor and the perpetrator for the express purpose of concealing evidence of Planned Parenthood’s crimes. That is unconscionable.”
Six, a Democrat who served as attorney general until he lost his bid for re-election, will have to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. He was defeated in the mid-term elections of 2010 and was replaced by pro-life supporter Derek Schmidt.
The Senate Judiciary Committee did to take a vote on Six’s nomination yesterday but asked for answers to written questions.
ACTION: Tell members of the committee to oppose Six’s nomination by going to http://judiciary.senate.gov/about/members.cfm