UPDATE, Sept.7: payment of $58,000 has been made to Planned Parenthood.
Yesterday, Judge Thomas Marten ordered an immediate state payment of approximately $80,000 to Planned Parenthood of Kansas Mid-Missouri for Title X family planning services.
The Kansas Attorney General’s Office issued this statement this morning to Kansans for Life: “The state will comply with the Judge’s order but will continue its appeal to the Tenth Circuit United States Court of Appeals.”
It’s mind-boggling that this judge thinks he has the authority to give taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood with no legal basis.
Marten continues to pretend this is a free speech case in which Planned Parenthood was denied participation as punishment for their abortion involvement. However, the Kansas budget provision being sued, that prioritizes full service public clinics, also resulted in a lack of a Title X contract for another ‘family-planning-only’ business unrelated to Planned Parenthood or abortion.
The judge ignores both the fundamental contractual issue and the state’s rock-solid objections:
1) There is no federal right to apply for, or receive, Title X funds from the state; thus Planned Parenthood has not been denied any right that Marten should rectify.
Only the federal government must accept applications for Title X grants, thus Planned Parenthood can only claim the right to apply directly to HHS for a grant, as other Planned Parenthood businesses have done in some states.
2) The Eleventh Amendment governing state sovereignty bars any judge from entering a mandatory injunction requiring the state to enter into contract with Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood’s suit demands that the state “honor their contracts” but there is no 2011-2012 contract with Planned Parenthood to honor/restore. This is the third time Marten has ruled on the case and ignored this foundational issue. (more…)