UPDATE Wed. July 20: Schmidt defends outside hires for abortion lawsuits
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt just made a great hire –former KU law dean, Stephen McAllister—to handle the lawsuit against our new state abortion facility licensure law.
McAllister served as a clerk to former U.S. Supreme Court justice Byron White and sitting justice Clarence Thomas. He has been Special Counsel to the Kansas House. As Solicitor General in 2007, McAllister wrote a masterful defense of the state late-term abortion law.
In related news, Schmidt hired a private law firm (Foulston Siefkin of Wichita) to defend the state in the Planned Parenthood suit over family planning money that the abortion business no longer qualifies for. (see earlier posts here and here)
The KCStar and AP report that Schmidt said he was following past practice, as previous attorneys general did for special topics that are resource intensive, like school finance, water boundaries, and, now, abortion.
With 10 attorneys on staff handling more than 600 cases, Schmidt said he had to seek outside legal help, when faced with “a small army of out-of-state lawyers.” Schmidt continued,
“We did not seek this legal fight. It came to us. Now the fight has been joined,” with 16 attorneys from nine organizations … support[ing] Planned Parenthood, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights.”
“These plaintiffs have launched a massive legal assault on the authority of Kansas to set its own laws and priorities,” Schmidt added. “I urge all sides to let this play out as it should, in the courtroom based on the legal merits, not in the headlines based on emotions and politics.”
Of course, abortion advocates criticized the AG for using outside legal help, whining about budgetary constraints and the choice of counsel, but Kansans for Life applauds acquiring this assistance. KFL Executive Director, Mary Kay Culp, commented,
With the pro-abortion Kansas Supreme Court, and a like-minded Steve Six hoping to join the appellate court, we need to have the best legal minds on our side from the start.
The licensure lawsuit that McAllister will defend was filed by the Overland Park Center for Women’s Health, whose lead abortionist (Herb Hodes) has been cited for extensive abortion malpractice by KFL in all hearings for this law that was originally drafted in 2002. The lawsuit was joined by the Kansas City, Kansas abortion mill, Aid for Women, the ‘incubator’ for a half dozen notorious abortionists. (see blog here)
On a different note, good news about progress in the state’s criminal prosecution of Planned Parenthood, scheduled for pre-trial hearing Oct. 24, will be discussed in an upcoming blog.