Kansas AG defends outside counsel decision
Schmidt made the announcement after it was revealed he had hired Foulston Siefkin, a firm that also represents billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, to represent the state in a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood. The Koch brothers have made significant donations to the Republican Party.
Schmidt issued a statement responding to recent criticism of the decision that said previous attorneys general hired outside lawyers to represent the state in lawsuits over school finance and water issues. Those topics, he said, were resource intensive and warranted outside assistance.
“The attorney general’s office has far broader responsibilities than abortion-related litigation,” said Schmidt, a Republican in his first term. “This is a situation where prudent case management requires the assistance of outside counsel to supplement the state’s resources.”
Schmidt said the state is facing three federal lawsuits brought by a dozen out-of-state lawyers and two Kansas law firms in the past three weeks.
“These plaintiffs have launched a massive legal assault on the authority of Kansas to set its own laws and priorities,” he said in a statement. “As is our duty, our office will provide for a zealous defense of the state’s duly enacted laws.”