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Archive for August, 2011

Judges’ rulings do not blossom after carefully evaluating competing legal briefs; most judges know at the outset where they want to end up and then carefully select the legal stepping stones to get there.

This happened in the Aug 1st ruling in which Kansas district Judge Thomas Marten dismissed the state’s constitutional budget authority and used “injunctive relief” to send one third million dollars in family planning tax money to Planned Parenthood of Kansas Mid-Missouri.

Kansas’ new law prioritizing family planning contracts is– on the legal merits– the strongest of state battles with Planned Parenthood funding.

Since Planned Parenthood attorneys can’t win that argument, they necessarily spun their lawsuit as a free speech issue in which a ‘newly-elected radical-right wing government wages a war on women.’

Judge Marten warmed to that theme and issued a temporary injunction against a budget proviso — with language that never mentions abortion or Planned Parenthood– because Marten determined that its true “purpose was to punish Planned Parenthood for its advocacy of abortion rights.”

To support the ruling, an Associated Press piece Sunday (more…)

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Clinton appointee Judge Marten

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has announced his office will appeal today’s ruling by U.S. Judge J.Thomas Marten, ordering a temporary injunction that helps Planned Parenthood regain access to Title X tax funding.

Dr. Robert Moser, who was also sued in his capacity as Secretary for Kansas Department of Health and Environment, commented:

Title X was not intended to be an entitlement program for Planned Parenthood. Other providers are already offering a fuller spectrum of health care for Kansas patients. This highly unusual ruling implies a private organization has a right to taxpayer subsidy. The people of Kansas disagree.”

Moser references the state budget provision passed this year that prioritizes recipients of Title X federal reimbursements to be full service public health clinics and hospitals. When such health providers can count on receiving a certain dollar amount, it helps that community hire a general clinician who can also deliver health services for infants, youth and seniors.

Kansas has approximately 80 public health clinics as well as many other full service health outlets that can provide the elementary examinations, contraceptives and disease testing (more…)

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