Former Kansas Attorney General Phill Klineis fighting back against a decision that resulted in suspending his law license because he dared to investigate the Planned Parenthood abortion business.
Today, Kline filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas against all of the justices of the Kansas Supreme Court and each of the replacement judges who issued the October 18, 2013, decision indefinitely suspending Kline’s Kansas law license. Kansas Disciplinary Administrator Stan Hazlett is also a defendant.
The Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief seeks a declaration that the disciplinary judgment against Kline is void because of the unlawful composition of the court as it existed after May 2012, when five of the seven sitting justices recused themselves from Kline’s case. The complaint also alleges multiple other procedural and constitutional defects in the handling of the case, including due process and equal protection violations. A press conferencing explaining the details of the suit is set for Monday, October 19, 2 p.m. (Central) at the Kansas Supreme Court.
Kline, former Kansas State Representative, Johnson County District Attorney and Kansas Attorney General, seeks full vindication and recognition that his law license was never validly suspended because of:
- unlawful composition of the court
- arbitrary conduct by the Judicial Branch
- illegal actions of an Appellate Clerk
- improper applications of professional standards
- judicial conflict of interest
Attorney Thomas W. Condit, the Cincinnati attorney who argued Kline’s disciplinary appeal in the Kansas Supreme Court in 2012, is also co-counsel for Kline in the federal action.
Mr. Condit said, “This Kline saga has been a complete miscarriage of justice and an embarrassment to the Kansas judicial system. Phill Kline was a highly well-respected Attorney General who has a great respect for the rule of law. I have spent enough time with him to know that beyond any doubt. The idea that he ever attempted to lie or to mislead a court is preposterous. The panel of attorneys who heard Kline’s disciplinary case and the jurists who sat in violation of the Kansas Constitution to attack his law license should be ashamed of their own lawlessness and the objective falsehoods in their own decisions. Mr. Kline set out to protect young girls from sexual abuse and to enforce the abortion laws passed by the people of Kansas. What he encountered was the tentacles of the abortion industry, apparently touching and corrupting everything in its way. This has been the worst abortion jurisprudence I have ever seen, and I have litigated pro-life cases for 26 years. It can only be described by a four-letter word: EVIL.”
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Kline’s Kansas law license was suspended indefinitely in October 2013 by a controversial ruling of the Kansas Supreme Court. The decision provoked widespread criticism on legal grounds, as a matter of professional ethics, as well as for moral and political reasons.
Lead local attorney for Kline, Dick Peckham of Andover, Kansas and Chairman of Kansas Judicial Review, said, “I am shocked by the facts of the Kline case. These egregious errors by the Court join a long line of cases demonstrating the need to change the process of selecting Kansas Supreme Court justices.”
The federal complaint details a vast array of “unlawful, unconstitutional, dishonest and incompetent conduct” by the defendants, and virtually every other attorney involved in the ethics attack on Kline, including:
- special counsel appointed for a Johnson County grand jury, conspiring and crafting a secret agreement with Planned Parenthood that subverted the purpose of the grand jury;
- an ethics panel composed of two (out of three) attorneys who had contributed money to the campaigns of Kline’s political opponents and refused to voluntarily disclose those contributions;
- findings by that same panel that Kline was guilty of disciplinary rules that did not exist at the time of the alleged conduct;
- Kansas Disciplinary Administrator Hazlett breaking the very disciplinary rules that he is required to follow and enforce, and also deliberately withholding exculpatory evidence favorable to Kline, including the report of Hazlett’s own investigator;
- repeated misrepresentation by the improperly constituted Kansas Supreme Court of Kline’s statements and conduct and of rules and case law to find Kline guilty of things he did not say and did not do.
In 2003, Kline became the first chief prosecutor of any state to investigate and prosecute both Planned Parenthood and late-term abortionist George Tiller. The investigation provoked successive and extraordinary challenges. With openly biased actions, Kansas Supreme Court justices repeatedly intervened in the criminal cases, delaying and turning them into allegations of ethical violations on the part of Kline. The accusations proved to be unfounded, but those complaints generated media criticism of Kline’s investigation that helped drive him from office as Attorney General, and later, as District Attorney of Johnson County, Kansas’ most populous county.
Evidence in support of Kline and the criminal charges against Planned Parenthood and Tiller were ignored, possibly destroyed, and the cases he developed were dismissed. In turn, Kline was charged with a plethora of ethics violations, based on unsupported complaints by those he investigated. The Kansas Supreme Court applied vague interpretations of professional standards to the spurious complaints against Kline and deemed his personal pro-life worldview to be an “aggravating factor” that made Kline “unfit” to practice law.