Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Former Kansas AG Kline’s law license suspended for misconduct during abortion investigation

October 18, 2013

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Order in Kline's indefinite suspension ( .PDF )

— The Kansas Supreme Court today indefinitely suspended the law license of former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline following allegations of ethical misconduct during his investigation of abortion providers.

The court agreed with a state disciplinary panel that Kline repeatedly misled or allowed subordinates to mislead others, including a Kansas City-area grand jury, to further his investigations. The unanimous decision comes after repeated disputes between the Republican and his critics over his tactics.

Justices said in their ruling that Kline committed "significant and numerous" violations as an attorney while pursuing prosecutions as attorney general and district attorney in Johnson County.

"Kline's inability or refusal to acknowledge or address their significance is particularly troubling in light of his service as the chief prosecuting attorney for this State and its most populous county," the court wrote.

In 2007, Kline filed 107 criminal charges against a Planned Parenthood clinic in the Kansas City suburbs, accusing it of performing illegal abortions and falsifying records. The last of those charges were dropped in August 2012. He also pursued misdemeanor criminal charges against Dr. George Tiller because of late-term abortions performed by his Wichita clinic. The case was dismissed for jurisdictional reasons.

Kline began the investigations of both providers just months into his 2003-2007 term as attorney general. The clinics resisted his attempts to get information from patients' medical records, but eventually the courts allowed him access to edited documents.

The disciplinary panel concluded that efforts by Kline and his aides to mislead other officials began early in the investigations.

Kline was Johnson County district attorney in 2007 and 2008. He is now a visiting professor at Liberty University in Virginia.

Comments

Kevin Elliott 1 year, 6 months ago

About time. I hope he is.fully disbarred

Julius Nolan 1 year, 6 months ago

He doesn't need law license to teach law at Liberty University, he's a good christian. That's all the background and qualification needed.

Amy Varoli Elliott 1 year, 6 months ago

Please do not insult Christians but lumping them with him

Julius Nolan 1 year, 6 months ago

My bad! I hereby apologize to true Christians.

Cait McKnelly 1 year, 6 months ago

Understand that this is in actuality the worst punishment that the court could hand down. Actual disbarment leaves the door open for the law license to be "rehabilitated" with eventual relicensure. Permanent suspension means he will never practice law in the state again.

Cait McKnelly 1 year, 6 months ago

Any bets that Stan Hazlett, the Disciplinary Administrator of the Kansas Judicial Branch and the chief investigator for the Kansas Bar, will be next on Brownback's list to go?

Richard Heckler 1 year, 6 months ago

Kline used his license it seems more as a harassment tool that to bring forth justice.

Bob Forer 1 year, 6 months ago

For those interested, here is a link to the Kansas Supreme Court written opinion on the matter:

http://www.kscourts.org/Cases-and-Opinions/opinions/SupCt/2013/20131018/106870.pdf

Cait McKnelly 1 year, 6 months ago

The judicial branch of the state is the only branch not in control of Brownback. But don't worry. He's working on it.

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