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10th Circuit Nominee Is Derailed; Opposing Senator Cites Position on Health Care Law

Posted Jul 29, 2011 10:54 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The nomination of a former Kansas attorney general to a federal appeals court has been scuttled amid controversy over his stance on Obama’s health care law and an abortion clinic investigation.

Neither home-state senator initially opposed the nomination of Steve Six for the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Lawrence World Journal reports. U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts explained his changed stance in a statement issued Thursday to the newspaper.

“After reviewing his testimony and written responses to the committee’s questions, I found his answers very troubling,” Roberts said about Six. “Notably, as Kansas attorney general, he failed to see any constitutional defects with the newly passed health care reform law. … And with all due respect, the average person can identify the constitutional defects of Obamacare.”

Roberts also said he was troubled by Six’s answers to questions about an investigation into a Planned Parenthood clinic begun by his predecessor, former attorney general Phill Kline. Roberts said Six tried to distance himself from the case.

A Wichita Eagle editorial says Roberts and the other home state senator, Jerry Moran, “appeared to be doing the bidding of anti-abortion groups in opposing Six.”

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