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Posts Tagged ‘Judge Larry Hendricks’

Kansas Supreme Court

The Kansas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Thursday morning in the most important pro-life issue ever to be decided in state history: whether a previously unknown  “fundamental” right to abortion is part of the 1859 state Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

This momentous case began in June of 2015, when abortion interests sued SB 95, the newly-enacted Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act. This first-in-the nation ban—which other states have enacted and others are now seeking to pass—would prohibit the barbaric method of tearing apart fully-formed unborn children, piece by piece, while they are still alive inside their mother.

Shawnee District Court Judge Larry Hendricks issued a temporary injunction against the measure. He concluded that abortion interests would eventually prevail when a state right to abortion was officially acknowledged. A split decision of the Kansas Court of Appeals on the matter last January left Hendricks’ injunction in place.

Solicitor General Stephen McAllister will argue the case for the KS A.G.

The legal team for the Kansas Attorney General, Derek Schmidt, has rigorously defended SB 95 as an authentic exercise of the state’s regulatory powers. They have repeatedly argued that any idea that Kansas actually has enshrined a right to abortion “is a fantasy.”

KFL FRIEND OF THE COURT BRIEF
As it had for the first appeal of SB 95, Kansans for Life filed an “amicus curiae” (friend of the court) brief, buttressing the arguments of the Attorney General.

The KFL amicus asks that the Kansas Supreme Court reverse the injunction issued by Judge Hendricks and “declare that no right to abortion can be implied or created based on the text, history, and jurisprudence of this state.” The amicus points out:

  1. The Hendricks’ ruling is in direct conflict with the primacy of place given to the right to life in the Kansas Bill of Rights, which declares, “All men are possessed of equal and inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
  2. The litigation against SB 95 thus far has treated the case as if no application of the ban is constitutional (called a facial challenge) when in fact, the abortionists challenging the ban have presented documentation that undermines that claim.
  3. The same logic that upheld the federal partial-birth abortion ban (in the 2007  U.S. Supreme Court’s Gonzales ruling) will also uphold a ban on the equally horrific shredding of still-alive unborn children.
  4. Senate Bill 95 is based on the simple proposition that causing gratuitous pain to other human beings is fundamentally wrong— the foundation of the Kansas statutory prohibition of torture and enhanced penalties for crimes involving torture.

In its conclusion, the KFL brief advises the Kansas Supreme Court that:

“There simply is no basis in the Kansas Bill of Rights for a ruling that requires the state to tolerate live dismemberment abortion – a ruling that affords unborn children less protection than afforded by state statute to the livestock in this state.”

Many pro-lifers are praying that the justices will be positively affected in this hearing tomorrow. The hearing will be live streamed here.

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vote-ad-1-maroon-tintThe lead story across Kansas in the closing days of October was the election-focused poll from the Fort Hays State University’s Docking Institute of Public Affairs—not a conservative source. Among the unsurprising results in a red state were that Trump is in the lead, the public is agitated over state budget deficits, and 64% of the nearly 900 “likely voters” polled wanted an end to all or most abortions.

The very unwelcome news for liberals (and their handmaidens in the media) who want Kansas judges on the bench for life, was that the poll showed Kansas Supreme Court justices who are up for retention are not “safe.”

That was truly encouraging news for pro-lifers, who see all our hard-fought laws endangered by an impending horrific ruling on abortion from our state Supreme Court. This is an unprecedented opportunity for pro-lifers to replace judges before they wreck our Constitution and declare that it has been “discovered” to protect abortion.

All society’s liberal “elites” are insulted that voters have the right to oust our top judges, but we were guaranteed that right when we amended our constitution in 1958 to give the selection of those judges over to an attorney-dominated commission.

Kansans for Life has launched a major initiative, “Better Judges for Kansas,” urging voters to dump activist judges with abortion bias– from district courts up through the state Supreme Court. Read here for articles explaining why the issue of judge retention is of paramount importance to pro-lifers.

The Kansas Supreme Court has deliberately delayed ruling on the injunction that has blocked our ban on barbaric dismemberment abortions from going into effect. Remember, this bipartisan-passed law prohibits the tearing apart of fully-formed children while still alive in their mother’s wombs.abortion-on-ballot-snip-lightened

KANSAS JUDICIAL ABORTION BIAS
Abortion is indeed on the ballot Nov. 8 in Kansas, although there is no amendment question about abortion. Informed pro-lifers will be rooting out abortion bias in judges up and down the ballot. Here are just some of the examples of this bias:

ABORTION BIAS was shown from 2004-2008 by the Kansas Supreme Court in its various dealings with then-Attorney General Phill Kline who attempted to prosecute illegal abortions; they even set up a unique and secret Court of Inquisition against Kline. The tongue-lashing of Kline by Justice Carol Beier was publicly slammed by fellow justices as “the very antithesis of ‘restraint and discretion’ and not an appropriate exercise of our inherent power.”

ABORTION BIAS was shown in 2008 when the Kansas Supreme Court benefitted notorious abortionist George Tiller by delaying a decision on sending the grand jury redacted abortion files. While waiting for this evidence, the grand jury ( whose final resport said they believed Tiller was guilty) ran out of its statutorily-mandated time…which the Kansas Supreme Court also could have extended, but did not.

judge approved art 5.pubABORTION BIAS was shown from 2011-2016 in the state court of Shawnee County District Judge Franklin Theis with a challenge to the abortion clinic licensure law. Judge Theis repeatedly ignored motions from the Kansas Attorney General’s office to proceed with the case. In another matter, Judge Theis continues to allow meritless appeals to be heard from abortionist Kris Neuhaus in her quest to regain her revoked Kansas medical license.

ABORTION BIAS was shown since 2015 in regards to the ban on dismemberment abortions, starting in the state court of Shawnee County District Judge Larry Hendricks who blocked the ban on dismemberment abortions. The ban is not yet in effect because:

  1. the Kansas Supreme Court (realizing their likely decision would threaten their retention) refused to rule on it at the outset and then delayed the matter until after elections.
  2. the Kansas Court of Appeals split evenly, which let stand Hendricks’ ruling — using all 14 judges instead of the normal panel of three (knowing six of them faced retention).

Abortion is on the Kansas ballot, written into judicial retention, and other candidate races. Pro-lifers should encourage all voters in their circle of influence to use our recommendations at

and forward the information on social media. The unborn babies in Kansas are relying on you!

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smaller baby in bronze judicial scale

Judges, protect the unborn!

Just before the holiday weekend, key arguments were filed with the state Supreme Court of Kansas on behalf of abortionists who want to continue dismembering living unborn babies limb from limb until they bleed to death, and from attorneys for the state Attorney General’s office who are defending the state’s ban on dismemberment abortions.

Last April 2015, Kansas was the first state to pass “The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act.” Four other states have now enacted this law –Oklahoma, West Virginia, Mississippi, and Alabama. The bill is on the governor’s desk in Louisiana and expected to be signed perhaps today.

The federal constitutionality of this ban has not been tested, but it was drafted as the logical consequence of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2007 Gonzales ruling upholding a federal ban on heinous partial-birth abortion method abortions.  Gonzales was based on the reasoning that abortionists’ preferences cannot trump compelling governmental interests in regulating the medical profession and voicing respect for human life and dignity.

Hodes & Nauser

Abortionists Nauser & Hodes

BACKGROUND, KANSAS LAWSUIT
Attorneys from the New York City-based Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) challenged the Kansas dismemberment ban in state court last June on behalf of Kansas City suburban father-daughter abortionists, Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser. They asserted that a hitherto-undiscovered Kansas constitutional foundation exists for abortions—one that precludes banning dismemberment method abortions.

 Judge Hendricks

Judge Hendricks

Shawnee District Court Judge Larry Hendricks found the novel CRR position so appealing that within moments of the oral arguments last July, he imposed an injunction preventing the ban from going into effect.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt sought immediately to undo that injunction with the Kansas state Court of Appeals. (see documents here) However the Court of Appeals rendered a split ruling January 22, allowing these abortions to continue unabated.

AG Derek Schmidt

AG Derek Schmidt

Both sides appealed to the state Supreme Court. (see AG supplemental filing and abortionist supplemental filing) In addition to arguing that the trial judge’s conclusion was in error, Schmidt’s office argued that the appellate ruling was –in fact—actually a 7-6-1 decision and is hopelessly confusing. The state Supreme Court has since agreed to review the matter but the hearing date has not yet been set.

NATIONAL IMPACT
If the claim that abortion is grounded in the state Constitution succeeds, the strategy will undoubtedly be used in every other state. Thus these new legal filings last week are of the utmost importance not just to Kansas but to all states. Of paramount concern is that credence will be given to these abortion attorneys’ claims:

  1. that a state Constitution must be contorted to contain an even more radical basis for unlimited abortion than that of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v Wade ruling;
  2. that the Kansas Bill of Rights language about “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (that many states share) must elevate woman’s “self-determination” and “decisional autonomy” and ignore the distinct, separate rights of the fully-human unborn child; and
  3. that Courts must be emboldened to ignore plain reading standards and accept “evolving” reasons to invalidate duly-passed legislation.
KS court appeals

Kansas Court of Appeals

On Jan . 22, 2016, seven of the 14 members of the Kansas state Court of Appeals firmly rejected those claims. They acknowledged what seven other appellate judges ignored—that there is an unborn child’s right to life at stake.

“Because the Kansas Constitution provides no substantive due process right to abortion, our legislature is free to restrict abortion procedures to the extent it finds it appropriate.”

Furthermore, they rightly concluded there is no right to abortion “expressly found in the text” of the state Constitution and that “it should not be done by judicial decree.”

Ks Supreme Court

Kansas Supreme Court

As the Kansas Supreme Court begins consideration of this issue, they:

  • should refuse to take the pro-abortion activist stance which invents abortion protection that did not exist in the Kansas pre-Civil War Constitution, nor afterward, and
  • should properly stay within its judicial boundaries and affirm duly-passed laws that protect tiny unborn girls and boys from inhumane torture.

We can only hope and pray this Court will do the right thing.

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2015 Rally for Life 2015 Rally for Life urges ban on dismemberment abortion bans

Last April, Kansas became the first state to pass legislation barring the barbaric dismemberment method abortions. Now, under challenge  by pro-abortionists, that first-of-its-kind law, which is on hold, is about to be reviewed by the Kansas Supreme Court.

This ban prohibits the gruesome abortion method of tearing apart fully-formed, living babies– limb by limb– until they bleed to death.

The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, model legislation drafted by the National Right to Life Committee, has since been enacted by Oklahoma, West Virginia, and (soon) Mississippi. This vital legislation has also been introduced in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Idaho, Nebraska, Missouri, Louisiana, Rhode Island, and Utah.

Thus the impact of the ruling by our Supreme Court will extend beyond our state borders.

The premise of the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act comes from the U.S. Supreme Court Gonzales ruling. In that 2007 decision, the justices upheld a ban on partial-birth abortions by acknowledging that,

“the State may use its regulatory power to bar certain procedures and substitute others, all in furtherance of its legitimate interests in regulating the medical profession in order to promote respect for life, including life of the unborn.”

Abortion supporters have thus sought to find and secure in state constitutions a broader and more unassailable “right” to abortion.

pro-abortion judgesThat’s what happened in Kansas last June, when Shawnee District Court Judge Larry Hendricks blocked the ban on dismemberment abortions from going into effect.  Hendricks adopted abortion attorney arguments–literally–asserting that the Kansas state Constitution protects abortion even more fundamentally than the standard established by the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

The temporary injunction was obtained by the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of Kansas’ father-daughter abortionists at the Center for Women’s Health in suburban Kansas City.

The injunction allows three Kansas abortion businesses to continue to perform these grisly procedures — 629 last year–at a cost of up to $2,000 each.

That activist ruling by Judge Hendricks was left standing when the full Kansas Court of Appeals reviewed it and announced on January 22 that they were divided, 7-7.

However, pro-life Attorney General Derek Schmidt appealed the appellate decision to the state’s highest court. Schmidt argued that the appellate ruling does not make precedent and current abortion lawsuits remain in limbo without clear guidance. Yesterday, it was announced the appeal will be heard. (documents here) Here are the three questions that the state of Kansas has posed for the state Supreme Court to rule on:

  1. Does the Kansas Constitution create a right to abortion?
  2. If that right exists, does it clearly prevent government from regulating dismemberment abortions?
  3. Did the Court of Appeals wrongly accept the lower court’s facts and legal standard?

Our state Constitution was enacted in 1859, when abortion was illegal in Kansas and across the nation. Yet one radical judge of the Kansas Court of Appeals, G. Gordon Atcheson (writing to concur with the injunction against the dismemberment abortion ban) believes that the state Constitution is an “evolving” document with an “ever more enlightened understanding of humanity” and women’s “self-determination.”

Mary Kay Culp, KFL executive director commented, “The challenge we face is whether a majority of the Kansas Supreme Court will follow the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding that allows states to ban barbaric abortion methods, or whether it will follow Appellate Judge Atcheson’s opinion that the dismembering of unborn children comports with an ‘enlightened understanding of humanity’.”

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Ks Supreme Ct

The Kansas Supreme Court

Filed electronically after 5p.m. tonight, Monday, the Kansas Supreme Court has granted review of the appeal by the Kansas Attorney General in the matter of the Kansas Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act. (documents here)

The hearing has not yet been set and both sides will file supplemental briefs to be submitted within 30 days. Here is the  summary of litigation thus far:

Pro-life Gov. Sam Brownback signed SB 95, the dismemberment method ban, on April 7, 2015 after it passed 31-9 in the Senate and 98-26 in the House. The law is not in effect.

The Overland Park Center for Women’s Health (CWH), the office of father -daughter abortion duo, Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser, filed suit against the ban in federal court and won a temporary injunction from Shawnee District Court Judge Larry Hendricks June 25, 2015.  Judge Hendricks adopted the arguments of the abortion attorneys hook, line and sinker.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt filed an appeal of that ruling, claiming that it is “a fantasy” that the Kansas state constitution of 1859 protects a right to abortion (much less one that upholds gruesome dismemberment of living, well-formed unborn children!).

The appeal was taken up by the Kansas Court of Appeals when the Kansas Supreme Court refused to intervene. On Jan. 22, 2016, the appellate court delivered a split ruling which meant the lower court temporary injunction would be upheld.

The Attorney General again filed an appeal, this time asking the Kansas Supreme Court to expeditiously review the appellate decision, asserting that

the Court of Appeals wasn’t truly split, but rather had ruled 7-6-1, finding there is no protection for abortion under the Kansas Constitution.

The Kansas Supreme Court needs to move expeditiously for several reasons, urges the A.G. filing; two other lawsuits filed by CWH (in 2011 and 2013) are lagging in state court and would be directly impacted by a decision about this so-called fundamental state right to abortion.

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Hon. Thomas Malone

Appellate Chief Judge Malone

On the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Kansas pro-lifers groaned when they heard that the state Court of Appeals had tied 7-7, meaning that a lower court’s ruling would stand and, with it, a temporary injunction on our historic ban on dismemberment abortions.” An appeal is being quickly drafted by the office of Attorney General Derek Schmidt to the state Supreme Court.

The “Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act” became law in Kansas in April, just days before Oklahoma enacted the law. The Act prohibits one specific method of abortion—a torturous, piece by piece, dismemberment of a living unborn child.

Shawnee District Court Judge Larry Hendricks was the first judge in the nation to review the matter. Hendricks so much loved the abortion attorneys’ arguments (inventing a previously undiscovered fundamental right to abortion in the 1859 Kansas Constitution) that he had them pen his temporary order for injunction! (Didn’t know judges could do that, did you?)

After the state appealed Hendricks’ injunction, all 14 members of the Court of Appeals heard arguments from both sides on December 9.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs (a father and daughter team of abortionists) asserted that Article 1 and 2 of the Bill of Rights of the state Constitution expressly contained a liberty right to abortion which must be interpreted the way the due process section of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was interpreted in Roe v Wade.

Seven appellate judges, in the dissent authored by Chief Judge Thomas Malone, used careful reasoning and a strict constructionist approach to opine that there is no ‘independent state-law right to abortion” and “there is nothing in the text or history of Articles 1 and 2 …to lead this court to conclude that these provisions were intended to guarantee a right to abortion.”

Chief Malone’s dissent notes that the Kansas Bill of Right predates the Fourteenth Amendment and to accept “such a broad reading” of the Bill of Rights, which “does not contain the same language” as the Fourteenth Amendment and “was ratified under different historical circumstances, would go well beyond the apparent intent of its framers.”

As the Attorney General defense team has consistently argued, abortion in Kansas was outlawed– even before the state bill of rights was ratified— and broadly criminalized thereafter except to prevent the death of the mother in an emergency.

Malone’s dissent highlights the essential tension, “[A]bortion places the pregnant women’s liberty interest directly at odd with the unborn child’s right to life. The balancing of these interests is a matter of public policy” which is under “the charge of the state legislature, not the court.” Moreover,

“The proper question to ask and answer is what rights the makers and adopters of the instrument intended to protect…not what rights today’s judges would like to see in our state constitution.”

Appellate Judge Leben

Judge Leben

The other half of the Court of Appeals does not subscribe to judicial restraint and agrees with the Hendricks ruling. Six of them united behind an opinion written by Judge Steve Leben. They say that Articles 1 & 2 of the Bill of Rights are sufficiently equivalent to the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Atcheson

Judge Atcheson

JUDICIAL ACTIVISM
In a separate concurrence affirming the Hendricks ruling, Judge G. Gordon Atcheson distinguishes his support from the Leben opinion. He finds that Article 1 and 2 provide even greater protection for abortion than the Fourteenth Amendment. And this is a case study in rhetoric over legal analysis.

For example, Judge Atcheson refers to the dismemberment of an unborn child as if it is merely “unaesthetic,” while (incorrectly) asserting that the state cannot prohibit a barbaric abortion procedure. He wrote, “The government cannot impose upon an essential right because some exercise of the right may be unaesthetic or even repulsive to some people.

He ignores the example that horrific partial-birth abortions are illegal, as upheld in the 2007 Gonzales ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court, but that may be because he disdains it so much: “Women have a right protected in Article 1 to exercise reproductive freedom as an essential component of their self-determination. To suggest otherwise simply inflates that women are flighty creatures in constant need of guidance and protection to be supplied either by menfolk or, in this case, a meddlesome government … That sort of paternalistic claptrap animates the majority opinion in Gonzales v. Carhart.”

Another of the examples of Judge Atcheson’s pro-abortion feminism: “Although the general societal and legal acceptance of gender equality hasn’t yet reached every quarter, Article 1 doesn’t bend to the obdurate views of those who would cling to the days when white men were the acknowledged masters of the realm.”

The caliber of Judge Atcheson’s writing and the extreme reach taken in the Judge Leben group opinion are distressing. The state of Kansas defense team has consistently maintained that the notion that there exists a state constitutional right to abortion “is a fantasy.” Half of the appellate court had the wisdom to recognize it.

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CWH, the father-daughter duo

Kansas’ father-daughter abortionists fight to keep dismemberment method

Hopefully, you are following with deep interest the legal battle surrounding the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, enacted in Kansas April 7 and, less than a week later, in Oklahoma. Naturally, pro-abortionists are challenging both laws in court.

The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, is a law that prohibits the horrific abortion method in which a living unborn child in her mother’s womb is ripped apart into pieces by an abortionist using sharp metal tools.

Kansas abortionists are waging their attack in the state court system. In a highly unusual move that indicates the national importance of the proceeding, the entire 14-member Kansas Court of Appeals will hear oral argument on the issue next Wednesday. (see more here)

Not since the epic campaign to end gruesome partial-birth abortions have pro-lifers had such an opportunity to provide the Supreme Court with a reason to curb abortion on demand.

The Act outlaws an immeasurably painful and barbaric procedure and bases its legal foundation on the High Court’s very own words (emphasis added):

“[W]hen it has a rational basis to act, and it does not impose an undue burden, the State may use its regulatory power to bar certain procedures and substitute others, all in furtherance of its legitimate interests in regulating the medical profession in order to promote respect for life, including life of the unborn.” [Gonzales v Carhart, 550 U.S. at 158]

The “rational basis” for the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act is simple: dismemberment abortions are repugnant and unacceptable in a civilized society. Kansans asserted their right to curb medical abuse and show respect for the Unborn.

All abortions are not precluded by the Act– only one method—and therefore, there is no “undue burden” on a woman’s “right” to abortion.

However, abortionists are hoping against hope that the Gonzales Court didn’t really mean that the state can regulate abortion and that the nebulous term “undue burden” means anything that inhibits abortionists’ preferences.

Judge Hendricks

Judge Larry Hendricks used wrong evaluation standard

LOWER COURT EMBRACES ABORTION CLAIMS
Were they allowed to choose their own judge, Kansas’ father-daughter abortionists– Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser at the Center for Women’s Health– could not have done better than Shawnee District Court Judge Larry Hendricks. On June 25th, at the first hearing on the dismemberment bill, Judge Hendricks hardly paused for even a second after oral argument ended before slapping an injunction on the Act for a variety of wrong reasons.

Lawyers for Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt adamantly maintain that Judge Hendricks’ most fundamental error was failing to assume at the outset that the Act was valid. When “rational basis” laws like the Act are examined, the standard is to PRESUME validity and then attorneys for the challengers must prove to the court that the Act is not valid.

This principle was clearly reiterated this week in a different abortion lawsuit by noted 7th Circuit Appellate Judge Daniel Manion (see here). Manion also points out that it is only for abortion—unlike all other areas of medicine—that a practitioner may bring a suit on behalf of a patient solely because the physician finds a regulation cumbersome!

Yet that’s exactly what’s happening in Kansas. Abortionists want to continue doing dismemberment abortions in their office for as much as $2,000 each. And because alternative abortion techniques are less profitable, they advance a public propaganda campaign that “the alternatives lack proof of improved safety.”

“DOCTOR-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP”
ACOG (the American College of Obstetrician-Gynecologists) is strongly pro-abortion and has a legislative policy that opposes any state “interference” with medical recommendations. They especially oppose mandates for pre-abortion ultrasounds and cancer warnings.

ACOG logoACOG filed a ‘friend of the court’ brief for the Center for Women’s Health– as did a group of one dozen abortionists and abortion-referring practitioners (all but one from the Kansas City area). The singular message of both briefs was that a ban on the dismemberment procedure would have “adverse impact on the doctor-patient relationship.”

But how absurd is the use of the word “relationship” in the abortion context? What kind of a relationship is it when the mother is not told that her son or daughter will be shredded while she is sedated? What kind of relationship is it when the littlest patient is ignored and called a “pregnancy that will be removed?”

Also consider that the so-called relationship is really a one-way decision by “a highly qualified specialist” (according to the Kansas practitioners’ brief!) who insists that the Legislature may not weigh in on grizzly, inhumane abortion methods.

The Kansas district court has misinterpreted the Gonzales standard and invented a state right to abortion. Let’s hope the Kansas Court of Appeals rectifies it.

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