Supreme Court punts records issue back to District Court
Topeka, KS — The Kansas Supreme Court ruled against late-term abortionist George R. Tiller who had asked the Court to rule that a citizen’s called grand jury was unconstitutional and should be dismissed. Instead the Court found that such grand juries are indeed constitutional.
In the same opinion, the Court ruled that subpoenas issued by the grand jury in their investigation into illegal abortions done by Tiller and his associates should be further reviewed by the Sedgwick County District Court to insure that the subpoenas are not overly broad or harassing in nature.
The grand jury issued subpoenas to Tiller in January for 2,000 late-term abortion records, a request that was later reduced to 50 records randomly chosen for each of the last five years. The subpoenas specifically state that all patient identifying information should be redacted before being sent to the grand jury.
“While we are gratified that the Kansas Supreme Court has upheld the right of citizens to call for grand juries, we are concerned that the order to punt the subpoena question down to the lower courts could be a stall tactic,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “This decision leaves an open door for further mandamus actions by Tiller’s attorneys. They know if they stall long enough with their frivolous motions, the grand jury term will expire, and the evidence will not have to be produced. That is obstruction of justice, pure and simple.”
The grand jury was seated on January 8, 2008, for a term of three months. That term was extended by Judge Paul Buchanan, but will expire on July 8, 2008, with no further extensions available.
“It is our prayer that the District Court will act swiftly to get the necessary evidence into the hands of the grand jury so justice can be done,” said Newman.
Read the KS Supreme Court’s Ruling