Phill Kline: Case Summary

Kline[The case of In re Kline, while familiar to Lifeline readers, is complex and has unfolded gradually over the last nine years. A brief summary of the proceedings is included here for your convenience.—Ed.]

In re Kline—Former Kansas Attorney General is accused of violating state ethics rules while investigating Kansas abortion providers. While Kline served as Kansas Attorney General and Johnson County District Attorney from 2003—2008, he doggedly investigated the crimes of Planned Parenthood and late-term abortionist George Tiller. The crimes included failure to report evidence of child sex abuse, falsification of documents and illegal late-term abortions. Every judge who reviewed Kline’s evidence found probable cause that crimes had been committed. Meanwhile, the Kansas abortionists sued Kline multiple times in a willing Kansas Supreme Court that tied Kline’s hands from prosecuting. Most of the Supreme Court justices had been appointed by rabidly pro-abortion then-Governor Kathleen Sebelius, and they wrote deceptive anti-Kline opinions demeaning Kline and threatening him with professional discipline.

In 2007, a district judge reviewed Kline’s evidence and found probable cause to believe that Planned Parenthood committed 107 criminal acts. Kline filed charges against Planned Parenthood the next day but his successor in office ultimately dismissed them after discovering that the Sebelius administration had shredded evidence of the crimes. The Sebelius Administration was never investigated for its misconduct. Kline’s investigation contributed to the abortion giant being defunded by some states and local governments, and even endangered its receipt of $350 million in federal funding.

Meanwhile, the attorneys for the Kansas abortionists and the Kansas Supreme Court itself filed ethics complaints against Kline. In 2010, the Kansas Disciplinary office filed formal charges alleging dozens of fabricated violations supported by novel theories of legal ethics. Two of the three attorneys appointed to the panel to judge Kline had contributed to his political opponents, and they recommended the suspension of Kline’s law license while finding twenty-one ethical violations. Kline and his attorneys, supported by LLDF, filed exceptions alleging the ethics complaint and findings to be politically motivated and without legal precedent.

During Kline’s appeal to the Kansas Supreme Court, he filed a motion exposing court bias and within days, five of the seven Supreme Court justices recused themselves from Kline’s case. Five lower court judges were appointed to sit temporarily to help to decide Kline’s case, which was argued in November 2012 and decided in October 2013. The “post-recusal” court dismissed ten of the twenty-one violations found by the panel but still upheld the panel recommendation that Mr. Kline’s license be indefinitely suspended.

On December 2, 2013, Kline’s attorney filed a ninety-five-page Motion for Rehearing exposing at least eight major distortions of fact and law in the Court’s decision. In this ongoing travesty of justice, the Court denied the motion five days later without explaining its documented errors and without requiring the Disciplinary Administrator to respond.

March 2014, Kline filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court seeking review of the Kansas Supreme Court’s many novel applications of legal ethics in the politically charged Kline case. Court denied.

On February 25, 2014, Kline’s attorneys filed a motion to dismiss what they are calling a “void” judgment on the basis that the Kansas Constitution explicitly requires at least four justices to concur for every decision. With only two justices left on the Court for Kline’s case, Kline asserts that the composition of the post-recusal Court was unlawful and in explicit violation of the Kansas Constitution. It is unclear when the Court will decide that motion.


(10/21/2015) Targeted Kansas AG Kline strikes back with complaint in U.S. District Court!

Calvin Freiburger (10/23/2015) Kansas ex-AG Phill Kline returns to bring pro-abortion persecutors to justice

Tom Brejcha (April 4, 2014): Phill Kline Lost His Law License for Investigating Planned Parenthood, Supreme Court’s OK With That

This article originally appeared in Lifeline (Summer 2014).

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