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AG Derek Schmidt asks Kansas Supreme Court to pause abortion case pending vote on constitutional amendment

Release Date: Oct 21, 2021

TOPEKA – (October 21, 2021) – The Kansas Supreme Court should put on hold further proceedings in an appeal regarding regulation of abortion in Kansas pending the outcome of the August 2022 vote on the Value Them Both constitutional amendment, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has told the court.

Schmidt filed the motion this week in the appeal of Hodes & Nauser v Schmidt. In an earlier proceeding in the case, the Kansas Supreme Court in 2019 found a previously undiscovered right to abortion in the state constitution. Legislators responded earlier this year by placing before Kansas voters a proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution that would reverse that ruling.

In the motion filed this week, Schmidt notes that the public vote is 10 months away and, if approved, would eliminate the legal basis for the suit.

“Proceeding with this appeal while a vote on the Value Them Both Amendment is pending risks needlessly wasting the time and resources of the parties and this Court. In addition, it is unlikely that this appeal will conclude before the August 2, 2022, election in any event,” Schmidt wrote the court. “If the Value Them Both Amendment is adopted, any additional proceedings will have been for nothing. A stay of proceedings is in the interest of judicial economy and would allow the people of Kansas to express their will on this important constitutional question before potentially unnecessary litigation occurs.”

A copy of the motion for stay is available at https://bit.ly/3aWTdC7.

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News releases issued prior to 2011 are available through an archive hosted by the Kansas State Library.