Tape over mouth symbolized Kansas Supreme Court's gag order on Judge Richard Anderson

Tape over mouth symbolized Kansas Supreme Court's gag order on Judge Richard Anderson

In January many of the 1500 marchers at the KFL Rally for Life outside the Kansas Judicial Center wore tape over their mouths to protest an action by the Kansas Supreme Court.  The tape symbolized the Kansas Supreme Court’s gag order on Judge Richard Anderson preventing him from additional testimony in the Planned Parenthood case brought by former District Attorney Phill Kline in Johnson County.

Tomorrow at 9 AM the Kansas Supreme Court will hear additional arguments in the case.  Will the Kansas Supreme Court lift its order for Judge Richard Anderson to be silent about his earlier findings that Planned Parenthood manufactured documents?

In tomorrow’s Kansas Supreme Court case, State of Kansas v. Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, Kansas Attorney General Stephen Six and Assistant District Attorney Steven Obermeier will represent the State of Kansas, while attorneys Robert Eye and Pedro Irigonegaray will represent Planned Parenthood.

According to the Kansas City Star last week:

The court plans to hear arguments Wednesday about whether subpoenas issued by former Johnson County District Attorney Phill Kline should be enforced.

One of the disputes between former Johnson County District Attorney Kline and Planned Parenthood is a subpoena quashed by Johnson County District Court Judge Stephen Tatum, which was appealed by Kline to the Kansas Supreme Court.

In various court documents Judge Anderson, from the Third Judicial District, made the following statements about the Planned Parenthood case in the Tenth Judicial District, including:

  • “The Third Judicial District has ‘no dog in this fight’” [see Additional Response to Petition for Mandamus by Respondent Richard Anderson, District Judge, Oct 19, 2007, originally submitted under seal]
  • “The Privacy of Patients Has Been Protected” [see Additional Response to Petition for Mandamus by Respondent Richard Anderson, District Judge, Oct 19, 2007, originally submitted under seal]

In the original Alpha/Beta Clinics case, the Kansas Supreme Court ordered Judge Anderson to oversee the production of records sought by earlier subpoenas. Judge Anderson became the custodian of the records, a role that usually performed by law enforcement.

  • “it appears that … someone has redacted … [and] has manufactured” part of the records.  [see Additional Response to Petition for Mandamus by Respondent Richard Anderson, District Judge, Oct 19, 2007, originally submitted under seal]

  • “there is evidence of crimes in these records that need to be evaluated.” [April 10, 2007 Hearing Transcript, lines 24-25, and 1 below]

  • “in context (this) could mean that somebody committed a felony in an attempt to cover up a misdemeanor.” [see Additional Response to Petition for Mandamus by Respondent Richard Anderson, District Judge, Oct 19, 2007, originally submitted under seal]

  • “…returning evidence to [Planned Parenthood as requested by the Attorney General Morrison] … at this point in time would unacceptably increase the risk that evidence could be lost, destroyed or compromised … It is difficult to understand how this would benefit the citizens of the State of Kansas.”  [see Additional Response to Petition for Mandamus by Respondent Richard Anderson, District Judge, Oct 19, 2007, originally submitted under seal]

In a Jan 16, 2008 hearing in Johnson County Judge Anderson:

  • Stated that Attorney General Paul Morrison should not have cleared Planned Parenthood
  • Stated that Planned Parenthood records documents appeared to be manufactured
  • Described how he took Planned Parenthood documents to the Topeka Police writing expert who confirmed they were manufactured

Soon after Judge Anderson gave this damaging testimony about Planned Parenthood in Johnson County, Attorney General Six’s office filed a motion with the Kansas Supreme Court to essentially silence Anderson and prevent him from testifying about records in Johnson County.

A.G. Six’s motion was granted in a one paragraph order by the Kansas Supreme Court that does not cite any case law, statute, or constitutional provision justifying the action:

Order Silencing Judge Anderson

Judge Anderson informed Johnson County District Attorney Phill Kline that he would have to file a motion to quash Kline’s subpoena due to this Supreme Court order.  Johnson County District Judge Tatum granted the request, but DA Kline appealed back to the Kansas Supreme Court.

The other matter to be decided tomorrow by the Kansas Supreme Court deals with KDHE reports, which are not medical records, but reports filed with the Kansas government that contain no identities.

District Attorney Kline subpoenaed KDHE abortion reports but KDHE filed a motion to quash arguing that the records were beyond subpoena and only the Attorney General may access such records.  This was all legal jockeying to avoid the enforcement of Kansas law banning late term abortions.

Attorney General Six filed a motion to quash the KDHE subpoena, which Kline appealed.  A.G. Six refused to give Kline the records so the prosecution could continue in Johnson County.

Judge Anderson also has the KDHE records and can produce them if the Supreme Court releases him to testify.  It’s unclear what the new Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe will do with this case initiated by Phill Kline.

Why is the Kansas Supreme Court “protecting” a defendant in a legal matter when several Kansas judges, including Judge Richard Anderson, have found probable cause that crimes were committed?

Do we have the “Rule of Law” in Kansas, or only the “Rule of Politics” in our courts? Phill Kline has been made the bogeyman in this case to hide the Kansas laws that are being ignored.


Listen live to oral arguments in the Kansas Supreme Court tomorrow.


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