This week I had the honor of testifying before the Interim Judiciary Committee which was tasked with examining the Kansas Supreme Court and the selection process for justices on that court. I testified along with our state allies, Kansans for Life and the Kansas Catholic Conference. Each of us addressed the gross violation of law and the sanctity of life in the recent the recent Supreme Court decision in Hodes & Nauser v. Schmidt.
Hodes & Nauser v. Schmidt is the April 2019 decision in which the Kansas Supreme Court created a fundamental right to abortion in our 1859 Constitution. This newfound right to abortion is protected by an even higher standard than the federal right created in Roe v. Wade and reinforced by Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
The first morning of the hearing focused primarily on the abortion ruling and the potential effects on the law in Kansas. In our testimony, we focused primarily on the legal and philosophical flaws of the opinion that were clearly designed to keep the legislature and the people of Kansas off balance.
Some of the most egregious concerns with how the decision was made (aside from the horrific nature of the final decision to create a fundamental right to abortion) include the way the court violates the rule of law in our state. They did this by ignoring the original meaning and understanding of the very rights they use to create the new right to abortion. They interpreted a right intended to protect citizens from being physically harmed (and was always thought to apply to babies in the womb) to mean that an abortionist has the right to abort a baby in the womb.
In the opinion, the Court attempted to unshackle itself from history that did not meet their particular narrative. They even went so far as to undermine every legislative body that they disagreed with simply because of who made up the legislative body. They essentially ignored all history that banned abortion in the common law.
Fundamentally, the court ignored the voices of countless women in Kansas who have fought for babies in the womb over the years. Conservatives are constantly accused of being anti-woman – yet a panel made up of mostly men made the decision to severely limit the ability of pro-life women in Kansas to fight for life in the womb. But that doesn’t mean we stop fighting. For a fuller reading about what the Court decided, you can read my commentary on the decision here.
What was clear – a Constitutional Amendment is needed to reverse this ruling. All the government representatives at the hearing, whether from the Legislative Revisors Office (the attorneys for the legislature) or from the Attorney General’s Office, agreed that the only way to fix the problem, created by the Court, is to pass a Constitutional Amendment. In the end, the commission voted that you should be given the opportunity to vote on a Constitutional Amendment.
Even now we are working with our coalition of allies to prepare for the upcoming legislative session. Would you consider partnering with us to defend children in the womb in Kansas?
Standing for life,
Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy