Guest Author - Rebecca Orczeck
Kansas is back in pro-life news with an ethics complaint filed against Sedgwick County District Judge Paul Clark. The complaint was lodged by Sen. Tim Huelskamp and Operation Rescue West, a pro-life activist group based in Wichita, Kansas. The papers regard Clark’s dismissal of 30 misdemeanor charges against Dr. George Tiller for allegedly performing 15 illegal late-term abortions.
Don McKinney, special prosecutor for the Tiller case, filed an appeal with the Kansas Supreme Court, which later upheld Clark’s ruling. According to the Wichita Eagle, the ethics complaint contains information that Clark allegedly received campaign contributions from the law firm representing Tiller and that he had engaged in unethical conversations regarding the case with as well as received additional campaign contributions from Sedgwick County District Attorney Nola Foulston.
In recent weeks there has been a growing movement to get the charges agaist Tiller reinstated. “To dispel the growing perception that the chief law enforcement officer of the state of Kansas is ignoring the obvious criminal activity in the case of Dr. George Tiller and so that the interests of justice may be served, the attorney general must ensure that charges against Dr. Tiller are heard by a jury,” Speaker Pro Tem Don Dahl said.
"Dr. Tiller is innocent of any wrongdoing. We always said that Dr. Tiller would cooperate with professional prosecutors who don't have some skewed political agenda, and he has done and will do that. On the other hand, it's important that the different branches of government maintain their independence and that the Legislature not try to coerce a political prosecution," replied Dan Monnat, one of Tiller’s lawyers.
Anti-abortionists made significant progress today when a resolution that would force new Attorney General Paul Morrison to reinstate the charges against Tiller passed the House Federal and State Affairs Committee.
"We need to be very interested in having our law being enforced impartially," said Rep. Forrest Knox, R-Altoona, an abortion opponent. "Justice needs to happen. The law needs to be enforced."
Sources: Kaiser Family Foundation, Wichita Eagle, Kansas City Star, Associated Press