Former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline’s law license was suspended Friday by the Kansas Supreme Court.
The Associated Press reports that the anti-choice crusader’s license was revoked after the justices ruled he had committed “significant and numerous” violations while serving as AG and as the district attorney of Johnson County.
Elected as AG in 2002, Kline opened investigations into Planned Parenthood and the late Dr. George Tiller just months after taking office in 2003. Kline charged Planned Parenthood in Kansas City with performing illegal abortions and falsifying patients records. The 107 charges against Planned Parenthood were eventually dropped, and the charges against Tiller were dismissed.
The Kansas City Star reports that Kline was found to have violated 11 rules of professional conduct, and must wait three years before he can file to have his license reinstated. In the 154-page ruling, the panel concluded that Kline’s suspension was warranted due to his “dishonest or selfish motive,” “pattern of misconduct,” and “refusal to acknowledge the wrongful nature of any of his misconduct,” among other reasons.
The court found that in the early stages of these investigations, Kline
“repeatedly misled or allowed subordinates to mislead others , including a Kansas City-area grand jury, to further his investigations,” reported the AP. In 2011, a three-member panel of the state Board for Discipline of Attorneys stopped just short of recommending that he lose his law license for repeatedly violating the state’s rules for attorneys.
“We’re pleased with the Kansas Supreme Court’s decision to hold Kline accountable for what it described as his ‘dishonest and selfish’ conduct as attorney general,” NARAL Pro-Choice America Director of Public Affairs Samantha Gordon told RH Reality Check in an email. “As they noted, he abused his position of power and influence to drive a personal witch hunt against abortion providers. There is a startling trend of public servants who unabashedly use their official platform to promote their social agenda while bending the law in the process. This decision should remind these officials that they’re entitled to their own opinion, but not at the risk of justice.”