Archive for Friday, January 22, 2010

Anti-abortion group plans effort to oust Kansas Supreme Court Justice Carol Beier

January 22, 2010

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— An anti-abortion group launched a campaign Friday to oust at least one Kansas Supreme Court justice in this year’s election because of how the court has handled cases on the issue.

Kansans for Life will campaign against Justice Carol Beier and may expand its efforts to other justices, Executive Director Mary Kay Culp told The Associated Press. Abortion opponents are especially upset with Beier because of majority opinions she wrote in 2006 and 2008 cases.

Culp later announced the campaign during a rally of about 1,000 abortion opponents outside the Supreme Court’s building on Friday, the 37th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

“One of the biggest problems is in the building behind me, the Kansas Supreme Court,” Culp told the crowd. “’Fire Beier’ is our rallying cry.”

Kansas Supreme Court justices are appointed by the governor but must ask voters every six years to keep them on the bench. Beier and three other justices — a majority of the seven members — are on the ballot Nov. 2.

Organized campaigns against Supreme Court justices have been rare since Kansas abandoned partisan elections for the court in 1960. Since then, no justice has failed to win retention with less than two-thirds of the vote.

Responding to criticism from abortion foes, court spokesman Ron Keefover said: “I can tell you firsthand, based on 30 years of observation, that the court’s decisions have always been based on the constitution and on the governing statutes and regulations.”

Rep. Marti Crow, a Leavenworth Democrat and an attorney who supports abortion rights, saw the effort as a “vendetta” against Beier.

“It hurts the independence of the justice system, which is very key to everybody’s rights,” she said.

Culp said Kansans for Life plans to mail 150,000 postcards before the election noting its opposition to Beier, as well as endorsements of candidates for other races. It may also run radio ads opposing Beier or other justices, she said.

On the ballot with Beier are Justices Dan Biles, Marla Luckert and Lawton Nuss. Beier has served on the court since September 2003 and was retained by voters in 2004, with more than 76 percent voting “yes.”

Beier, Biles, Luckert and Justice Eric Rosen were appointed to the high court by former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat who supported abortion rights. A nominating commission screens applications and names three finalists, but the governor’s choice isn’t subject to Senate confirmation, as other major appointees are.

Sebelius helped recruit Paul Morrison, an abortion-rights Democrat who unseated Phill Kline, an anti-abortion Republican, as attorney general in 2006. The two majority opinions written by Beier in abortion cases deal with issues arising from Kline’s investigation of abortion providers, first as attorney general and later as Johnson County district attorney.

Abortion opponents are upset that the Supreme Court has not ruled on legal issues surrounding a criminal case Kline filed in 2007 as Johnson County district attorney against a Planned Parenthood clinic in Overland Park, keeping the case from going to trial.

But they’ve long singled out Beier because her opinions in 2006 and 2008 strongly criticized Kline.

In a December 2008 ruling, she said Kline “exhibits little, if any, respect” for the court or the rule of law. The court’s 5-2 majority sent its opinion to the official who investigates allegations of misconduct against attorneys, and Kline now faces an ethics complaint.

Dissenters in that ruling said they were troubled by the majority opinion’s comments about Kline. Then-Chief Justice Kay McFarland wrote that the comments were designed to threaten and “heap scorn” upon Kline and were inappropriate.

“We think the people of Kansas deserve to know before they vote the extent of the unprofessional, prejudiced attitude of Judge Beier,” Culp told the AP.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Tim Owens, an Overland Park Republican who has supported restrictions on abortion, said he thinks Beier has done a good job as a justice and that “overall, our Supreme Court does a good job.”

Comments

domino 5 years, 3 months ago

I don't know anything about Beier, but if she is anti-Kline, then I'm for her!

MyName 5 years, 3 months ago

umm... sure it will consumer1. And yeah, this is just another Don Quixote moment brought to you by Kansans for Life.

Seriously, 150K postcards in an electorate of 1.3M. That's not even 10%.

BigPrune 5 years, 3 months ago

Everyone should know that when a judge is appointed by a governor, in order for the judge to be removed from office, the majority of registered voters have to vote the judge out of office. Not the amount of voters who actually get out and vote. So let's say 40% of the voters get out vote. If the 40% voted her out, she'd still be in. How many times in history has the turn-out been 51% of the registered voters in Kansas? Probably never.

"Rep. Marti Crow, a Leavenworth Democrat and an attorney who supports abortion rights, saw the effort as a “vendetta” against Beier.

“It hurts the independence of the justice system, which is very key to everybody’s rights,”"

The comment from Marti Crow is in itself, B.S.

ebyrdstarr 5 years, 3 months ago

BigPrune, that is not correct. Article 3, Section 5 of the Kansas Constitution provides for retention elections of Supreme Court Justices. It very clearly states that to be retained, the justice must receive yes votes from the majority of those voting on the question.

Evan Ridenour 5 years, 3 months ago

and this is why you shouldn't have retention votes for the justices of your highest court of appeal...

BigPrune 5 years, 3 months ago

I stand corrected. I thought I was told this about judges by an attorney. Perhaps I misunderstood, he/she had their information wrong, or possibly they were telling me about municipal or district judges perhaps? This was 6 years ago.

Kenn Woodard 5 years, 3 months ago

I am a member of the church where Dr. Tiller was murdered. I met this scum of a man Scott Roeder several months before he gunned down the doctor. Roeder came up to me asking where he could get a directory of the members who belonged to Reformation. I knew something was wrong about him. He kept mentioning how beautiful our churh was. I just flaked him off as a kook! Little did I know that he was setting up his murderous adgenda! These groups think most Kansans agree with what they spout off. They are fighting an uphill battle, especially with the killing of Dr. Tiller by one of their own. They can deny, deny, deny that Roeder isn't part of their community. But most Kansans know better. As for trying to unseat a state Supreme Court Justice?! Hah! That's the oldest trick in the land. Justice Beier has nothing to worry about. I say continue issuing criticizm of Kansans For Life. They deserve it!!!

Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

Thu Jan. 21, 2010 9:42 AM PST

"Thursday's Supreme Court decision striking down limits on corporate spending in elections marks the latest in a remarkable string of victories for a Republican lawyer in Terre Haute, Indiana. James Bopp Jr. did not argue Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission before the high court, but the case was entirely his brainchild.

Bopp, the longtime counsel to the anti-abortion group National Right to Life, has now almost singlehandedly obliterated many of the nation's relatively modest restrictions on corporate election spending, including the landmark McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform legislation.

And he's done it all in the name of the First Amendment. In 2007, Bopp persuaded the Supreme Court to eliminate limits on corporate funding of television ads in Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life, arguing that the rules were an unconstitutional infringement on free speech.

A few months later, he represented Citizens United in its battle with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) over its efforts to air a critical documentary about Hillary Clinton on television during the election season—the case that led to Thursday’s major Supreme Court decision.

As with so many of Bopp's cases, few people took the Citizens United challenge seriously in the beginning. During one hearing in early 2008, US District Court Judge Royce Lamberth actually laughed at Bopp for comparing the Citizens United film—which portrayed Hillary Clinton as a European Socialist—to investigative news shows like 60 Minutes. Since then, judges, good government groups and various other political actors have learned that Bopp is not to be laughed at.

After the Supreme Court decided to take the case, Citizens United hired renowned high court litigator Ted Olson to handle the oral arguments, but the case bears all the trademarks of Bopp’s handiwork."

Jersey_Girl 5 years, 3 months ago

If you're against abortion, don't have one. And unless you and your cohorts are willing to adopt ALL the unwanted children, including children of rape and incest and those with severe birth defects, then shut up.

tomatogrower 5 years, 3 months ago

Jersey_Girl (Anonymous) says… If you're against abortion, don't have one. And unless you and your cohorts are willing to adopt ALL the unwanted children, including children of rape and incest and those with severe birth defects, then shut up.

They don't really care what happens to the children after they are born. The scum bag Roeder didn't even pay his court ordered child support. His spouting off about caring about children just shows what a hypocritical liar he is, just like his supporters. I hope the prosecutor brings that up at the trial, and shows that this guy could care less about children.

Stephen Roberts 5 years, 3 months ago

If this was the group I saw in Topeka which looked like a lot of people from different churches.

Would they be willing to outlaw abortion if any contributions to churches or their schools were not tax deductible??? Any thoughts??

Jersey_Girl 5 years, 3 months ago

I realize they don't really care; that's why I posted what I did. Many anti-abortionists are the same delightful people who are pro-prayer in school...as long as it is Christian prayer and not Jewish or Islamic prayer. They're very "my way or the highway". I'm against abortion so no one should be allowed to have one. I pray so all my child's schoolmates should have to pray...but only the way I pray.

Zype 5 years, 3 months ago

That's right. Fire anyone who disagrees with us. This will make a true free country.

Good f*ing luck. Like your "plans" are going to do jack st. Not everyone is Anti-abortion, and not everyone should be forced to be. That would defeat the purpose of "a free country". Not that we really are one anymore anyways...

Jersey_Girl 5 years, 3 months ago

If there's a God, that's her decision, not yours.

ivalueamerica 5 years, 3 months ago

sounds like the extremist Christians want to ignore the laws of America. They give real Christians a bad name.

labmonkey 5 years, 3 months ago

Dont underestimate Kansans for Life. They did a nice hatchet job on Knight (who was pro-life yet moderate) in the 2002 Republican primary (because their guy was Schallenburger) allowing Kathy to get elected.

I am pro-life, but cannot stand Kansans for Life becase they send out little cards telling people who to vote for...and I have seen people bring them to their polling place. Judge Beier should be worried (although in a way, Kansans for Life is partly responsible for her appointment).

kimmydarling 5 years, 3 months ago

Kansans for Life... no, Kansans for birth is more like it. These people who insist on "the right to life" don't seem to much care about the resulting quality of life. Whether that resultant child will have adequate food, shelter or a non-violent homelife.

Or..they do, but god forbid their tax dollars help fund it. Besides, when that woman who would have terminated goes to get social services instead they'll just ask why she didn't keep her legs closed.

Allowing everyone to vote on the rights of only PART of the population is just horrific. Unless it's your body, it's not your choice to make. Unless you can give every unwanted/unsupported child a home, don't say women can't elect to terminate a pregnancy. Feh.. hypocrites

leedavid 5 years, 3 months ago

Kimmy: "Blah, blah, blah"

The prolife group has the right to think as they feel, speak as they think and act as they like. If they think most abortions result from irresponsible sex, so be it. Though it happens to be true. Something to be said for crossing legs as it were.

And drop the "it's my body routine". If that was they case the public would be allowed to do illegal drugs, because after all it is their body. But we know that is not the case. It might be your body, but we can make laws that as a society we believe you can do with that body. Fact of life in the United States.

Jersey_Girl 5 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, sweetie, you just lost your argument by suggesting that we women should be crossing our legs. If it falls upon us to keep our legs crossed, then obviously you feel that the responsibility falls upon women to prevent irresponsible sex and unwanted pregnancies. Therefore, we do have the right to say it's my body. If you don't have to worry about keeping it in your pants, you don't have to worry about what happens when you don't. I am so sick and tired of men who think pregnancy prevention is entirely a woman's responsibility. And until more men start sticking around and taking responsibility for that irresponsible sex and unwanted pregnancies, then men don't get a say in what I do with an unwanted pregnancy. How many men out there willingly take an unwanted baby off the mother's hands versus how many men disappear when they hear "I'm pregnant!"? How many unwanted babies have you adopted, leedavid?

John Kyle 5 years, 3 months ago

So did they run out of doctors to shoot and now are going after judges?

leedavid 5 years, 3 months ago

Adoped Jersey? I was adopted. I am greatful my mom gave me a chance to live, just not with her. I would not have made it if you were my mom. An number of people would wished that were the case, but non the less, I made it. LOL!

I assumed my responsiblity regarding birth control. Both before I wanted to have children with my wife, and after we had our last. The women I was with did the same. It is not just the woman's responsibility. As far as crossed legs...in my generation, may I just say ladies born in the 50's let me just speak to you.....ya'll took that too serious.

Jersey_Girl 5 years, 3 months ago

leedavid - I'm happy for you that you were born and not aborted but rather given up for adoption. Since I don't know know the details of your conception and I imagine you probably don't either, I'll refrain from the rather mean and nasty comment I could make about it, although from your comment about not making it if I were your mother, it sounds like you at least believe that you resulted from irresponsible sex. Of course, since you were born in the 50s, if I had been your mother, there would probably be a greater chance of you being here than if I had concieved you in the last 37 years. My point, you ask? Legal abortion may not have been an option for your mother in the 50s. And I'm glad to hear that you upheld your share of birth control. Even in this day and age when condoms not only prevent pregnancy but can save your life, it's truly scary out there how many men don't and won't use them. You still didn't answer my question about how many men take an unwanted baby off the mother's hands versus men who disappear when they hear the words "I'm pregnant!".

Boston_Corbett 5 years, 3 months ago

Have the justices shovel Eride's neighborhood sidewalks as punishment.

leedavid 5 years, 3 months ago

Jersey:

"You still didn't answer my question about how many men take an unwanted baby off the mother's hands versus men who disappear when they hear the words “I'm pregnant!”."

I am unaware of any man taking the unwanted baby. I have heard of men assuming responsibility for the child, (former Senator John Edwards for one) but never taking custody.

jonas_opines 5 years, 3 months ago

"Seems you can't write a single thing on this blog without foaming at the mouth behind your computer screen."

The best part about this line is that it's followed by:

"The fact of the matter is you “Liberals” fight for every minority in America. You want to ensure rights to the lowest vermin of society. Yet when it comes to the most defenseless individual of society, an unborn child, you turn a blind eye."

That's just funny. Was the point to illustrate what "foaming at the mouth" looked like, so we could easily reference it?

Jimo 5 years, 3 months ago

So, to summarize:

group doesn't like the law, wants judge to break oath to follow law, and is now determined to remove her from office because she doesn't both (a) probably have their idea of the correct personal views on what the law should be and (b) doesn't in turn elevate her personal opinion, if she had the "correct" opinion, above the law. Everyone follow that train of illogic?

I don't know what else we are to guess is the thinking here seeing that these cranks do not cite any actual legal error that the judge has made short of pointing to her "tone" when criticizing a member of their "team" (because that's what the law is - a team sport, Go Chickenhawks! Rah! Rah!).

feeble 5 years, 3 months ago

balishag (Anonymous) says…

The fact of the matter is you “Liberals” fight for every minority in America. You want to ensure rights to the lowest vermin of society.

============================== so, minorities = vermin? Careful balishag, your white robe is showing. Last time I checked, the 14th amendment hadn't been repealed. Citizens are citizen, regardless of minority status.

But I'm glad to know you are qualified to judge the worth of your fellow citizens. I'm sure baby Jesus would be proud.

Centerville 5 years, 3 months ago

It's all legal, so why not? It would be good for all of us, including Beier.

damnitimpissed 5 years, 3 months ago

Beier is a good, competent justice. Let's be clear on what happened; Kline was unethical. There is a reason he is facing ethics complaints; he did something wrong. The only reason this political group wants Beier out is that they don't agree with her, not because she was out of line in any way.

Jersey_Girl 5 years, 3 months ago

Thank you, Jonas and Agnostick. Very nice posts! I admit there was some emotion behind my posts to leedavid but I was far from foaming at the mouth. This is just a subject I feel passionately about; freedom of choice.

leedavid - I'm isure there are fathers who took custody of unwanted babies, but the number is minuscule. Unfortunately, the number of fathers who have bailed on their responsibility for their children, both wanted and unwanted, is enormous. The country is filled with deadbeat dads. For me, that weakens men's right to decide what a woman should do with the unwanted pregnancy. He certainly has a right to voice his feelings and desires when it is actually his child, but ultimately, he's not the one carrying the pregnancy for approximately 40 weeks, risking his health (high blood pressure, diabetes or placental abruption to name a few). So I don't believe anyone other than the mother herself has the right to make the choice.

daddax98 5 years, 3 months ago

"And drop the “it's my body routine”. If that was they case the public would be allowed to do illegal drugs, because after all it is their body. But we know that is not the case. It might be your body, but we can make laws that as a society we believe you can do with that body. Fact of life in the United States"

actually i don't believe that there are any laws against ingesting drugs. distribution and possession yes, ingesting no. So try a new example

Fatty_McButterpants 5 years, 3 months ago

Jerseygirl: I believe in freedom of choice as well; however, one could say that women (and men) exercise that freedom when they decide to have sex. Just because you don't like the after-effects (i.e., pregnancy), it doesn't mean that your choice was taken from you!

Leedavid: Are you seriously saying that women born in the 50's were TOO serious about keeping their legs crossed?? Hmm...if my math is right, that would make those women the same age as the women that were dropping their pants left & right in the 60's & 70's. I don't think that crossed-legs were a problem then...

Jersey_Girl 5 years, 3 months ago

Fatty - your argument is one that is presented by most anti-abortionists and I agree that abortion should not just be another form of birth control. But most anti-abortionists ignore the arguments for abortion in the incidents of incest or rape or when either the fetus has serious birth defects or the mother's health is at risk. And are you saying that married couples who are not in a position to have a child currently should refrain from marital relations? Perhaps one or both have lost their jobs. Perhaps they have lost their home and been forced to move in with family or friends. There is no one birth control method that is 100% effective. Condoms break. I had a friend who got pregnant more than once on birth control pills, and yes, she was taking them correctly. She had an alarm on her watch to remind her to take them every day at the same exact time.

Fatty_McButterpants 5 years, 3 months ago

Jersey: I'm not an anti-abortionist. Of course, I'm not a pro-abortionist (let's not sugarcoat stuff and call it "pro-choice") either. It's not something that has affected me, so, for better or for worse, I have not put a whole lot of thought into the issue. I do know of many women that have had at least one - if not several - abortions b/c they slept with someone and "oops"... even ones with alarms on their watches.

That being said, I DO believe that our judicial system needs to get WAAAAY more serious about making sure that the sperm donors pay their fair share of the costs. (I can't use the term "father" as I associate far more respect to that term than the "screw & split" guys deserve).

Jersey_Girl 5 years, 3 months ago

How is it sugarcoating it to call it pro-choice? I may feel having an abortion is not something that I would personally choose to do, but feel that other women should have the option to make that choice themselves. Therefore, I'm pro-choice. I may feel that victims of rape and incest should have that option as well as mothers expecting a baby with a serious birth defect or one who's life is at risk. I can only begin to imagine the emotional devastation being a victim of rape or incest carries, much less being forced to bear the consequences of those crimes and giving birth to a baby resulting from that heinous act. Please, one of you anti-abortion proponents, please tell me how you would tell you wife/daughter/sister that she must not only carry to term and birth the baby of rape, but she must also get adequate prenatal care for that baby because to do otherwise would be child abuse.

kimmydarling 5 years, 3 months ago

Until the time that a child can be conceived and carried entirely without requiring another human as a host, women deserve the choice. You are asking to legislate that women be mandated to go through what CAN be a life threatening situation. Something that can lead to blindness, diabetes, heart disease, bodily disfigurement and nerve damage. Preeclampsia is just for giggles, right?

A standard termination procedure is traditionally done between 6-10 weeks. At 6 weeks, a fetus cannot survive without its host. It cannot think. it cannot speak. It cannot see or hear. It is not a child unless the woman decides she wants to keep it and is committed to the care of herself AND the fetus.

I don't understand why such a vocal majority of pro-lifers are men. You will never carry a pregnancy. You will never suffer labor. You will never know what it is to be afraid, uninsured, alone and the victim of failed contraception .. yet you speak with such vehemence that women must be legislated into obedience. ..misogynists, the lot of you.

Until YOUR body must be sacrificed in order to bring the new life into the world, it's not your right to tell me how I must use mine.

labmonkey 5 years, 3 months ago

Abortion still equals murder.

And Beo and Kimmy- I have someone very close to me (male) who was very messed up for awhile when he found out someone had an abortion on him. He would have gladly taken the baby and raised him/her himself. Many times the father doesn't know when the woman has an abortion...so those of you putting down men should perhaps suggest the woman talking to the man (in cases of legal, consensual sex) when she finds out she is pregnant. I am willing to bet that many would take the baby if the woman doesn't want it.

kimmydarling 5 years, 3 months ago

and when the man can carry it for 9 months himself, he's welcome to make that decision.

In the end, I feel for any man who had his wishes disregarded but in the end it's the woman who has to go through pregnancy and childbirth and her choice

labmonkey 5 years, 3 months ago

That is an old and tired argument. Sans rape and incest, choice happens when a couple decides to have sex and they should be prepared to deal with the consequences (and I mean both people...chase the father down if you have to). The child should not be murdered because it inconviences the parent. (BTW...I am not one of those no-sex until marriage conservatives....pass out birth control and teach it's proper use). And it is not just the woman's body, it is the baby's too.

By your same argument....if my wife got into a car accident and had to be put on life support for several months while she healed, it would be okay to kill her because she would not be able to survive without the life support system (in the baby's case, the mother's body) and it should be my choice to kill her because of the anguish and hardship I would suffer. Nope, that is murder and so is abortion.

kimmydarling 5 years, 3 months ago

OK well you're ignorant and misogynist.. but since it's Kansas I imagine that's to be expected. Go on and live your life with your moral high horse and I'll go on living in my world where accidents happen even with birth control and no child should be seen as a punishment for that. Luckily until people like you manage to overload society, my world is the one we call reality

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 3 months ago

"He would have gladly taken the baby and raised him/her himself."


Would he also have been willing to financially support the woman through her pregnancy, including all of the resultant medical bills? Would he have financially compensated her if something happened and the pregnancy resulted in a permanent disability? (That's not as unlikely as you think. I developed diabetes during my last two pregnancies and by the end of the last one I was permanently on insulin.) My guess is no and no, although he may have been wealthy enough to take up the financial slack. There's a whole lot more to consider here than just the "end result".

labmonkey 5 years, 3 months ago

cait48....yes and yes...he would have funded anything needed for the pregnancy and the baby. And I know there are many guys out there like him.

Kimmy- since you are calling people names, you are for selfishness and murder. A child should never be seen as punishment. It suprises me you used the word "child" instead of dehumanizing the baby by calling it a fetus. That almost makes you worse that the average pro-abortion crowd.

I won't change your mind (only a possibly life changing event can do that for you), and you sure as hell won't change mine.

kimmydarling 5 years, 3 months ago

There are, I believe, perhaps a handful of pro-abortion people in the world. There are, however, MILLIONS of pro-choice people.

People who, good or bad, approve or don't..still feel that each woman has the right to choose and no one should be able to legislate her body by their morality.

I imagine your "life changing event" means I'd change my mind about it if I were pregnan? Well no, no that didn't change it in the least either time

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