Today, federal Judge Thomas Marten unsurprisingly acquiesced to ACLU’s petition that the Dodge City Family Planning (DCFP) clinic join the Planned Parenthood lawsuit over Title X money distributed by the Kansas state health department.
The clinic wants immediate reinstatement of their prior Title X state contract for nearly $40,000 (plus attorney fees), and wants the state proviso declared void as violating the Supremacy Clause.
Marten has already awarded $58,000 to Planned Parenthood without a state contract and the state is appealing his rulings to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Marten’s ruling today bristled at the state’s allegation that DCFP was ‘judge-shopping’, that is, piggy-backing onto a case where the judge is already favorably directing funding to clinics.
There’s no question this is an activist judge of whom the State legal team accuses of “emasculating” state sovereignty and repeatedly ruling in error about the legitimacy of the state funding proviso.
Marten defended the addition of the financially-failing DCFP clinic because “it was stripped of Title X funding essentially as collateral of the Kinzer Amendment’s redefinition of eligibility standards.…[and] asserts a Supremacy Clause claim similar to that advanced by plaintiff Planned Parenthood.”
Notably, unlike filings from all other parties that refer to “proviso 107(1)”, Marten calls it “the Kinzer Amendment,” reinforcing his opinion that this duly-passed, facially-neutral proviso is merely a disguised abortion penalty. (Lance Kinzer (R-Olathe) is the chairman of the House Judiciary committee and a state pro-life leader.)
Judge Marten refuses to be swayed that nothing in the federal Title X language forbids state grantees from selecting delegate agencies that are full-service health clinics instead of private, limited-service entities.
He was also not impressed by the state’s notice that the U.S. Supreme Court is currently addressing the issue of Supremacy Clause preemption of state-funding and may well remove this cause of action before Marten finishes this case.
When contacted for comment today by Kansans for Life, the spokesman for the Attorney General’s office said “A.G. Derek Schmidt will continue to defend this law.”