Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Kansas Courts’ Category

Patrick Wiesner, passed over for Orman

Patrick Wiesner, passed over for Greg Orman

Last month, Kansans witnessed court shenanigans to secure a dirty back-room deal to try to stop Republican pro-lifers from taking over the U.S. Senate majority.

The floundering Democrat Senate candidate– Topeka District Attorney Chad Taylor—submitted a last-minute statement of withdrawal on Sept.3. Taylor did not type out,“I am incapable of fulfilling the duties of this office if elected,” which (after the primary has passed) is the only allowable excuse, other than death, for getting out under Kansas statute 25-306a .The Kansas State Supreme Court ruled that his use of the phrase “pursuant to” in his statement, sufficed to remove his name.

No one disputes that Taylor’s exit was designed to facilitate opposition to 3-term GOP incumbent, Sen. Pat Roberts, coalescing around multimillionaire “independent” candidate, Greg Orman, who’d been running TV commercials promoting his candidacy before he was even technically on the ballot. (Read pro-abortion support for Orman here and national media frenzy over the Roberts challenge here)

The tougher question that the Kansas State Supreme Court ducked was whether the Democrat Party could be held in contempt (and fined) for not supplying a Democrat replacement for Taylor. The party had publicly refused to find a replacement after Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, said the law required it (even with a viable candidate, see below).

A lone, long-time-Democrat-voting citizen, David Orel, filed suit for Democrats to perform that duty.

The state Supreme Court wanted to dodge that question and certainly the fact that four of those justices are Democrats and one of their homes was being used that week for a Democrat fundraiser had no impact, right? So the issue of whether the Democrats were illegally not replacing the Taylor name was sent to a lower court panel of three judges who

  • were insulted that Orel did not come to court, although his attorney argued that the court merely needed to interpret the statute, without testimony;
  • found that Orel would not be uniquely harmed by not having a Democrat candidate for U.S. Senate on the ballot;
  • ruled that the law about replacing withdrawn candidates was not a mandate, just an option.

Now, it is true that current legal scholars hate laws that use the word “shall.” But, as the filing of the Kansas Attorney General’s office in this matter explained, the pertinent Kansas election provision in the Taylor/Orel matter uses “shall” for some mandates and “may” for some optional duties—indicating that the legislators understood the difference, and that candidate replacement by the party (after the primary) was mandatory.

WHERE’S WALDO?
But, wait… where was the Democrat whom the public and the courts should have heard from? The rightful replacement for Taylor is Taylor’s runner-up in the primary, who garnered 46.3% of the vote and who could, with not much effort, resume campaigning for the seat.

Patrick Weisner is that person– a successful CPA and attorney, newly retired from the military, who in fact had also campaigned for the U.S. Senate seat in 2010! Where had he disappeared to in all this? Oh wait, a perusal of Weisner’s political positions (here, here and here) shows he is not a lock-step Democrat. Guess he was muffled off as part of this back-room deal.

In conclusion, Kansas election law enacted to preserve the integrity of primary-chosen candidates has been perverted and needs to be revisited.

Read Full Post »

Justice Beier

Justice Beier

Kansas is a “red” conservative state with a “blue” state Supreme Court and a liberal media supporting the latter.

But even the slavish Kansas media is having a hard time keeping the illusion alive that the behavior of Kansas’ top Court is ethically disciplined and above politics.

Last week the Court rushed to rule that the name of a Democrat candidate for U.S. Senate would not appear on the upcoming ballot. (more here)

No one disputes that the withdrawal was aimed at consolidating opposition to pro-life GOP Sen. Pat Roberts behind a newly-emerged, “independent-but-Democrat leaning,” pro-abortion, multi-millionaire challenger, Greg Orman.

The widely acknowledged impact of the Kansas Supreme Court’s decision could be to help unseat Roberts. The media gleefully positioned the ruling as slapping down a partisan Secretary of State who would not deem a candidate’s hasty withdrawal as legal.

But the Court was not done. It gave Democrats another gift: the time delay they needed to avoid selecting a replacement candidate for the Democrat ticket, as required by law. The Court on Tuesday sent that issue to a lower court with an indefensible excuse, read: The Kansas Supremes Give Democrats Exactly What They Wanted . . . Again

However, another story arose the same day, one the press groaned inwardly to report because it shredded what few excuses there were to insist the Court’s decision was above board: complaints from the GOP that a fundraiser for the extremely anti-life Democrat gubernatorial candidate would be held that night at the home of State Supreme Court Justice, Carol Beier!

The most incensed media outlet was the uber-liberal (and rather raunchy) “alternative” online source, The Pitch, based in Kansas City. Reporter Steve Vockrodt wrote

[Carol Beier is] often accused by the state’s Republican activists of advancing stridently liberal ideology on the state’s highest court.
A Tuesday-evening backyard barbecue at Beier’s house thrown in support of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis, however, seems tailor-made to amplify such claims while calling into question the judge’s integrity.
“It’s my husband’s event,” Beier tells The Pitch. “I’ve taken pains not to be involved in it.”
But it’s hard to see the upside to holding a campaign event at the home of a top judicial official, someone who could have a say on the legal muster of legislation that Davis might sign as a future governor. At best, it’s reckless.
Both Beier and Davis are lawyers who should understand that even the appearance of a conflict of interest is a troublesome prospect. But neither seems bothered by the question today.

While it is true that no rule in the Kansas Code of Judicial Conduct limits the political activities of a judge’s family, the media is warning Beier, and the Court, such blatantly partisan stunts are nearly impossible for the media to spin as passing the smell test.

The media will, however, continue to help the liberals and anti-lifers. They sanitized the Paul Davis lap dance story and refused to link it to his role in opposing (and mocking) state proposals to regulate strip clubs over the past few years. (see Community Defense bill vote here)

The media has portrayed the Kansas state Supreme Court ruling as a rebuke to a partisan Secretary of State—not as inappropriate activism by a pro-Democrat Court wanting to help prevent the Republican Party’s takeover of the U.S. Senate. But consider….

  • There was no media mention that the Supreme Court majority are Sebelius-appointees unvetted by the Senate and selected by an elitist committee.
  • There was no questioning why a longtime Democrat advisor and long-time business partner with the state Democrat Party, Justice Dan Biles, didn’t recuse himself from an issue so critical to the democrat party interests.

It is supposed to be commonly held that the media and judges discipline themselves to be neutral. But consider, as a mental exercise, whether the Kansas Court rulings and media stories would be the same if it were the GOP overturning the results of a state primary to achieve a back-room-made deal disadvantaging the Democrats.

Read Full Post »

KS Supreme Court, currently awaits installation of Calb Stegall

Kansas Supreme Court, 6 current members- top row and bottom right selected by former Gov. Sebelius.  Caleb Stegall to join Dec.5.

As it was a decade ago, the Kansas Supreme Court is smack dab in the middle of a controversy affecting pro-lifers.

Back then, the top Court was being utilized by abortion attorneys to halt then-Attorney General Phill Kline’s battle to enforce state late-term abortion laws.

Today, the state Supreme Court held a hearing over an election law. Their ruling will affect efforts to retain a true pro-life Kansas Senator, and to thwart the anti-life agenda of President Obama and Sen. Majority leader, Harry Reid.

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, a stalwart pro-life Republican, is on the ballot for re-election in November. The Democrat opponent, Chad Taylor, caused a shockwave when he filed to remove himself from the race during the last hour of the last possible legal day to do so, Sept. 3.

It is not debated that Taylor, without state-wide name recognition and funding, was urged by anti-Roberts interests to bow out, in hopes of clearing a path for recently-declared, ‘independent’, candidate Greg Orman. The political bosses calculated that a lone, multi-millionnaire candidate might better take down incumbent Roberts, following his bruising GOP primary fight.

What the Kansas Supreme Court heard today, was whether Taylor properly effectuated his request under state law. In 1997, Kansas altered the law which had allowed candidates to leave the race at any time.

Testimony showed a rash of “placeholder” candidates who got on the ballot by primary, and then relinquished their candidacy–allowing party bosses to secure rising, more viable candidates on the ballot at the last minute. Such “placeholder” candidates violate the integrity of elections, and undermine voters in favor of back-room dealing.

Thus, the legislature changed Kansas statute 25-306a to require that candidates can only get their name off the ballot– after the primary– by

  1.  death, or
  2. declaring they are “incapable of fulfilling the duties of office if elected.”

Taylor is alive—although not talking to media. He remains the Shawnee County (Topeka) District Attorney. The legal disagreement is whether it was sufficient for him to request that his name be deleted “pursuant to” the relevant statute, without claiming any incapacity to serve.

Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, whose office oversees electoral matters, insists he was forced to do his duty and refuse to remove Taylor’s name because Taylor had not made any “declaration” of any “incapability.” Kobach also contends that this is not a case of him trying to help fellow Republican Roberts.

The Kansas Supreme Court, whose members generally hold themselves out as being able to overcome their own personal partisan influences [LOL] will attempt to rule very narrowly on the smallest legal point. They aggressively questioned the Secretary of State’s contention that Taylor’s request was not in “substantial” compliance. Substantial was not defined, but contrasted with absolute compliance to every provision of the statute. The fact that past candidate removal requests had not been notarized, for example, was illustrative that Kobach’s office had made some judgment calls—inferring that this was a step too far.

It is assumed that the Court will issue its ruling tomorrow; they are in “emergency” mode as the state ballots must be printed by Friday. It’s dangerous to predict these things, but it seems likely that the Court will uphold Taylor’s request –and surely it will not be because four of the seven justices were selected by past-Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius!

If the Court does rule that Taylor is off the ballot, a related issue that was not discussed in today’s hearing, is whether the state Democrat party must supply a substitute candidate. Stay tuned!

Read Full Post »

Hon. Thomas Malone

Hon. Thomas Malone

A rotten district court ruling is too hot to handle and the proper court of review doesn’t want to deal with it. Guess why? The revoked medical licensee is an abortionist.

In a technical legal dodge on Friday, the Kansas Court of Appeals ruled that that it is too early for them to review an appeal by the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts in the matter of abortionist Kris Neuhaus.

The Board revoked her license in July 2012, after a six day hearing under State Administrative Law Judge Edward Gashler in which he found that, “the care and treatment of 11 patients [obtaining late-term abortions in 2003] was seriously jeopardized” by Neuhaus. (More posts here, here, here and here)

But that finding was blocked March 7, 2014 by Shawnee District Court Judge Franklin Theis, opining that the Board ‘over-punished’ Neuhaus for “being sloppy,” taking “short cuts,” and showing “inconsistent attention to proper protocols.”

Days later, the Board appealed. Kansas Court of Appeals chief Judge Thomas Malone issued a 2-page order Friday, claiming Theis’ order did not constitute a “final ruling” that they can review and that the Board had not yet reconsidered sanctions –as ordered by the district court.

The Court of Appeals wants the Board to go away and follow Theis’ order—but that order is exactly what the Board wants the higher court to reverse!

The Board is left with 3 legal options:

  1. ask for reconsideration by the same Court of Appeals that doesn’t want to do so,
  2. ask the state Supreme Court for review of the Court of Appeals position,
  3. go back in session to issue a revised sanction of Neuhaus.

Neuhaus’ lawyers found arguably the best activist judge in the state to take review –Shawnee District Court Judge Franklin Theis. Theis’ sympathies were revealed early on, when the state asked for a bond to recoup further court costs from Neuhaus and Theis said the appeal would proceed without any hope of repayment. He later ruled on the abortionist’s behalf, “there is not sufficient proof to support the board’s findings of ‘professional incompetency’…based on Neuhaus’ failure to maintain adequate records to support the diagnosis.”

NEUHAUS’ LONG-TIME INCOMPETENCE
The inability to do proper patient intake was the subject of disciplinary action against Neuhaus from 1999-2001, when the Board labeled her,“a danger to the public.” Unfortunately, the Board allowed her to keep her license, and she used it to rubber-stamp “mental health” exemption referrals –onsite –for George Tiller, enabling him to proceed with post-viability abortions.

Concerning those notorious referrals, Judge Gashler’s decision upholding the revocation included this:
“There is no indication that the Licensee [Neuhaus] on any occasion actually conversed with a patient concerning the items necessary for a competent mental health examination to be completed… In some cases, the patients were, according to the Licensee’s diagnosis, suicidal. Yet, in not one single case did the Licensee make any recommendations that the patient be seen by a psychiatrist, a psychologist, or any other type of mental health worker. The Licensee simply referred each patient for a pregnancy termination.”

The Kansas Board of Healing Arts needs to keep its new-found resolve to discipline dangerous abortionists, and challenge this new Court of Appeals ruling.

Read Full Post »

Past Board director enabled Neuhaus

Past Board director, Larry Buening, enabled Neuhaus

The Kansas State Healing Arts Board voted unanimously Friday evening to appeal the March 7 district court ruling overturning its July 2012 license revocation of former abortionist Ann Kristin (Kris) Neuhaus.

After nine-months’ reflection, Judge Franklin R. Theis issued a very pro-abortion ruling, sending the issue back to the Board for “review,” opining that it was wrong to take away Neuhaus’ license.

Neuhaus does not have a current Kansas license to practice medicine, even in a restricted manner, but this ruling allows her to apply for one—though it is exceedingly doubtful the Board would approve it.

Neuhaus lost her license for repeatedly breaking the state rules on medical record-keeping and patient exams. Specifically, she had issued the required ‘validation’ for third-trimester abortions for 11 young teens in 2003 under the claim that the girls would otherwise suffer “irreparable and sustainable” mental harm. (read more here)

Those 11 cases originated in medical files that had been acquired by then-Kansas Attorney General, Phill Kline. Kline had obtained the records in an attempt (thwarted under then-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and the state Supreme Court) to prosecute the late George Tiller for abusing the law on exceptions to the Kansas ban on post-viability abortions.

Judge Theis ruled, “there is not sufficient proof to support the board’s findings of ‘professional incompetency’…based on Neuhaus’ failure to maintain adequate records to support the diagnosis.” Instead, he

opined that the Board had, in essence, ‘over-punished’ Neuhaus for “being sloppy,” taking “short cuts,” and showing “inconsistent attention to proper protocols.”

Excuse me, Judge, but not being able to find evidence of the nature of the patient’s problems from Neuhaus’ own scanty notations and checkbox-formatted computer printouts IS the point!

The administrative court opinion (upholding the Board’s complaint) ruled there was no evidence “of any examination nor…of what transpired between the patient and licensee [Neuhaus].” Yet this was supposedly a ‘referral’ by a second, so-called independent, doctor that an abortion was the recommended solution to an irreversible mental health problem.

Obviously, the Board believes it more than ‘made its case’ and will not ‘rethink’ its sanction. In a quickly convened, 22-minute meeting conducted by phone Friday evening (with discussion by the members closed to the public), the Board chose to get Theis’ ruling voided through an appeal to the state court of appeals.

Frankly, the corrupt, past Healing Arts Board Executive Director, Larry Buening, is squarely to blame for Neuhaus, and enabling the illegal abortions of thousands of viable unborn children.

According to 2009 court testimony, Buening helped Wichita abortionist Tiller find a Kansas licensed doctor willing to ‘rubber stamp’ post-viability abortions as being authorized under a mental health exemption. Buening recommended Neuhaus, and helped steer the Board to allow her to keep her license after she had lost federal drug privileges and been found repeatedly unable to properly evaluate, examine, monitor and discharge patients.

But this well-documented pattern of Neuhaus’ inability to do the bare essentials of medical intake was downplayed by Theis. Other errors in this wrong-headed ruling will be further examined in an upcoming post.

Read Full Post »

Failed Neuhaus

Kris Neuhaus

Late Friday, Shawnee County District Judge Franklin R. Theis quietly issued a ruling in favor of former abortionist Ann Kristen (Kris) Neuhaus, overturning the State Healing Arts Board’s July 2012 revocation of her license and wiping out her $93,000.00 debt of assessed court costs. (Note, Neuhaus has already achieved $63,000.00 to pay that debt, pledged here.)

Neuhaus’ license was revoked for negligence and failing to meet the standard of care in eleven cases in 2003, in which she had “approved” young teens  to obtain post-viability abortions from the late George Tiller in Wichita, on grounds that –without those abortions–they would suffer irreversible mental harm. (see more info herehere, and here)

The Board’s revocation case had gone to trial under administrative law judge Edward Gashler, who ruled that Neuhaus had demonstrably failed to keep accurate and complete medical records, as required by law.

Neuhaus’ inability to practice medicine was long documented in her disciplinary history, first with limitations in 1999 due to “failure to maintain complete and accurate records.” Soon after, the Board found in 2000 and 2001 that Neuhaus violated the standard of care due to “no focused physical examination,” failure in “ monitoring vital signs”, and “no anesthesia record”—actions the Board said “create a danger to the public.”

While Theis upheld Neuhaus’ record-keeping failure, he overturned Gashler’s assessment that Neuhaus had “seriously jeopardized” patients’ care with inadequate mental health exams. Theis sent the case back to the State Healing Arts Board for review.

As reported by the Associated Press, executive director, Kathleen Lippert Seltzer, said the Board will meet within the month to decide whether to rehear the case or instead, file an appeal of Theis’ decision.
(UPDATE Mar. 14: Board  unanimously agreed to appeal Thies’ ruling; see AP story)

AP also quoted Bob Eye, one of Neuhaus’ attorneys, as saying Theis’ ruling is “pretty consistent” with their arguments.  Gee, what a surprise—Theis is on their side?

ABORTION LAWYER SAVES JUDGE
Eye’s former law partner, Planned Parenthood counsel Pedro Irigonegaray, orchestrated (and helped fund) a successful last-minute rescue of Theis’ job in 2004. This was a response to an ad hoc group of Shawnee County citizens who were justifiably outraged at Theis’ leniency to child molesters in three cases and sought his defeat.  However, with the help of Irigonegaray and attorney donations for TV and radio ads, Theis eked out a narrow 51% victory. (read more here and here)

Pro-lifers are infuriated that this same Judge Theis has been “sitting on” another Kansas abortion lawsuit, brought against the Kansas 2011 abortion clinic regulation law. Theis has indefensibly allowed NO ACTION to proceed in this lawsuit brought by the Overland Park abortion duo of Herb Hodes and daughter Traci Nauser. The 2011 law—which is not in effect to Theis’ stubborn inaction for over two years—would:

  • create licensure standards for abortion businesses with requisite hospital privileges;
  • allow Health department inspections, including one annual unannounced visit;
  • mandate reporting of abortion-caused injuries;
  • insure chemical abortions are administered in person (not via “webcam”).

Kansans for Life has prioritized educating pro-lifers about the dire need for reforming the judicial nominating procedure in our state, to be more reflective of the Kansas public and less a tool of the abortion industry.  Judge Franklin Theis is a prime example of the need for such reform.

Read Full Post »

Father/daughter abortionists Hodes & Nauser

Traci Nauser & Herb Hodes

The Kansas 2013 Pro-Life Protections Act creates pro-life public policies permissible under U.S. Supreme Court abortion rulings, but that hasn’t stopped abortionists Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser from trying to stop it.

Last week, attorneys for the father-daughter abortion team at the Kansas City-suburban Center for Women’s Health asked the district court to throw out the entire law before their lawsuit goes to trial.  They want a ruling on whether the Act contained more than one subject, violating the rule of statutory construction.

AP’s John Hanna reported on the filing and cites several recent (non-abortion) state court cases that show little support for any success by lawsuits claiming Kansas laws violated the “single subject” mandate.  This is not surprising, as the state’s drafting department is well aware of this requirement and is very careful to advise when proposed legislation might need to be segmented into separate bills.

The Pro-Life Protections Act states that it “concerns abortion” and contains a sex-selection abortion ban, abortion-related tax funding limits, and abortion informed consent provisions. Nevertheless, abortion lawyers call it a “hodgepodge” and specifically—and absurdly –claim that two sections have no relation to abortion because they do not actually use the word ‘abortion’ in the provisions.

The sections they criticize are:

  1. Section 2, asserting the state will protect interests of the unborn child and his/her parents (taken verbatim from the 1989 U.S. Supreme Court Webster ruling), and
  2. Section 9, adopting the 2008 Kennedy-Brownback federal bill to provide enhanced counseling for medically challenging prenatal diagnoses.

The abortion filing desperately tries to convince the court that these two sections wander from the abortion subject by describing Section 2 as a “legislative policy statement concerning the legal status of fertilized eggs” and Section 9 as authorizing “the provision of supportive services to parents and prospective parents of children with disabilities.”

Aside from both sections’ logical connection to abortion, Section 2 uses ‘unborn child’ and Section 9 repeatedly uses ‘prenatal’, yet the court is supposed to accept the abortion attorneys’ claim of irrelevance to abortion?

Section 2 is the backbone for the Act, showing that—even under Roe v Wade—the state has the right to defend the unborn in tort law and to set spending priorities for promoting life. Attorneys for the state defending the Act, assert in their filing that Section 9 provides services to parents of disabled children “in order to promote childbirth and carrying an unborn child to term.”

In testimony supporting the Act, Kansans for Life explained Section 9 as answering the need for the health department to assist families confronting disability diagnoses, in the face of ever-escalating prenatal diagnostic tests that encourage the elimination of individuals with challenging conditions. [As an aside, under Obamacare, prenatal testing, but not counseling, is authorized.]

The shock of certain prenatal diagnoses can too often drive a mother to agree to abortion, especially when ObGyn doctors are themselves not well informed about the medical condition and available services.  Providing more immediate access to information about specialized treatments and community support allows a more fully informed decision to be made by families coping with unexpected news. This is obviously an abortion-related provision, although the counseling services extend past delivery.

It is exceedingly frustrating that the abortion industry can waste court time on such shoddy legal claims and we are glad that both the federal and district courts (in two separate suits, see here and here) have not blocked the entire Pro-Life Protections Act.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 41 other followers