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Posts Tagged ‘Judge Carlos Murguia’

A.G. Schmidt

Kansas pro-lifers got good news from a federal court May 18th: two Kansas city-area abortion clinics will have to pay their own attorney fees of over $220 thousand dollars without Kansas’ taxpayer reimbursement. Judge Carlos Marguia ruled the clinics had not “prevailed on the merits,” and thus did not qualify for state reimbursement.

Attorneys from the Center for Women’s Health (CWH) and Aid for Women (AFW) had been petitioning for state payment of their attorney fees incurred when the clinics filed to halt both the new state abortion facility licensure law and the provisional clinic regulations written by the Kansas health department (KDHE).

The clinics had sought a permanent injunction in a rushed proceeding July 1, 2011 in front of federal Judge Murguia, claiming irreparable harm would ensue if the law went into effect that day. Judge Murguia awarded only a temporary injunction, largely in order to “maintain the status quo” while issues moved forward.

In November 2011, KDHE issued permanent abortion facility regulations, using a slightly modified version of the original set. Both clinics dropped the federal lawsuit, but the injunction was retained and the lawsuit was refiled in state court by only one clinic CWH (the business of abortionists Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser).

The office of Attorney General Derek Schmidt had filed motions in opposition to paying all the abortion attorneys involved, arguing they were not entitled because such reimbursement is available for “claimants who had prevailed on the merits” in civil rights cases.  [Yes, this is a civil rights case because (hold your groans) one of the claims is that clinic regulation violates a woman’s civil right to obtain an abortion.]

Beyond ineligibility for reimbursement, the Attorney General claimed national and local abortion attorneys had inflated billable hours and wage rates to make a “windfall” off of Kansas taxpayers.  The irony is evident: abortion advocates have been complaining that the defense of pro-life laws is a wasteful depletion of the treasury, and then their own attorneys try to rip-off that same treasury!

Thankfully, that won’t happen at this juncture, due to the litigators working for the AG office.

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UPDATE, May 18:  Court denies abortion attorney fees.
Abortion supporters, including the Wichita Eagle editorial staff (here, here, here, here, and here and now here) take every opportunity to complain that Kansas tax money is being spent on litigation to uphold pro-life laws enacted in 2011. However, evidence now shows that it is actually abortion clinic attorneys who are trying to cheat taxpayers.

The most recent defense filing from the state of Kansas– in the lawsuit attacking a licensure law upheld in other states– is asking the court to deny any fee award to national and local attorneys for two abortion businesses:  the Center for Women’s Health and Aid for Women.

At issue is a “windfall” for clinic attorneys– according to the State– including over $78,000 for ineligible legal work as well as using indefensible attorney rates of $400 per hour.  All but one of the clinics’ attorneys lack ANY experience in this type of litigation, yet they charged nearly double what attorneys experienced in this specialty would charge- $225 per hour.

State attorneys (including the office of Attorney General Derek Schmidt) demonstrated how the court is being wrongly asked to pay (more…)

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Bonnie Scott Jones (PBS photo)

The Pennsylvania grand jury criminal indictments at the “House of Horrors” abortion clinic of Kermit Gosnell was an extra “real-life” incentive for Kansas to pass abortion facility licensure and regulation this spring.

Yesterday, two Gosnell staffers– neither one trained or licensed for the work they did –each pleaded guilty to a variety of charges, including third-degree murder, taking part in a corrupt organization and administering drugs that caused death.

Medical tasks being “handled” by non medically-trained staff is one way abortion businesses cut costs.

Gosnell’s clinic is one example, but Kansas has had plenty of these ‘mills’, like the Kansas City abortion clinic of Krishna Rajanna.

In 2003, a whistle-blower reported that she and other untrained, low-paid, high-school drop-outs hired as receptionists (one who didn’t even speak English) were essentially running Rajanna’s clinic. The whistle-blower met with the local District Attorney, who afterwards asked for help from the state Board of Healing Arts. The Board disciplinary attorney responded they knew Rajanna had problems, but no law existed to correct them.

Eventually, that clinic was closed in 2005, more as a PR measure to give cover for then-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to — again– veto an abortion licensure and regulation bill similar to the new law.

CLINICS PROMISE TO SUE REVISED RULES
When the Kansas department of health (KDHE) issued temporary abortion facility regulations for sanitation and patient safety July 1, attorneys for two abortion businesses [Aid for Women,Center for Women’s Health] got federal judge Carlos Murguia to block enforcement of the rules. The one remaining Kansas clinic, Planned Parenthood of Kansas Mid-Missouri, filed a similar lawsuit, but dropped it after they were able to meet the requirements.

Now that permanent regulations, slightly revised from the originals, are published and set to go into effect Nov. 14, the clinics are again announcing they will refile a suit. (more…)

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