The Kansas Supreme Court unanimously decided to indefinitely suspend the law license of former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline, best known for aggressively attacking Planned Parenthood and abortion-provider George Tiller after being elected. Tiller was later killed by an anti-abortion activist.
In its 154-page decision, the court found that Kline committed 11 violations of the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct while in office.
While acting as Attorney General, the court found that he committed professional misconduct when he ordered his staff to attach sealed documents in direct violation to a Supreme Court order, then demanded they present “misleading” information about what they had done when questioned about the earlier order.
The court also found that while Johnson County District Attorney, Kline repeatedly lied about how his office obtained confidential patient records while it was vigorously prosecuting Planned Parenthood clinics in and around Kansas City. As the county’s district attorney, Kline filed 107 criminal charges against the clinic, accusing it of performing illegal abortions and altering its record to hide the fact it was doing so.
“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 Supreme Court wrote.
All of the charges were dropped, the last in 2012.
In addition to the violations directly related to actions falling within the purview of his job, the court also found that Kline’s appearance on Fox News’s “The O’Reilly Factor” during the host’s “Tiller the Baby Killer” campaign to discuss his ongoing investigation of George Tiller constituted official misconduct.
[Image via Kansas Attorney General's office]
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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