AG Derek Schmidt: Kansas families affected by crime receive special poem

TOPEKA – (December 22, 2017) – Kansas families attending the four remembrance receptions across the state received a special message this year, Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.

Earlier this month, the Kansas Attorney General’s Office in cooperation with the Kansas Organization for Victim Assistance hosted receptions in Garden City, Wichita, Kansas City and Topeka in honor and remembrance of crime victims who lost their lives. This year more than 350 family members, friends and supporters attended the receptions, which recognized 223 individuals who lost their lives due to crime.

A special poem was read at each of the receptions. The poem was authored by Kansan Annette Hope Billings and written especially for Kansans whose lives have been touched by crime.

“The holiday season can be a difficult time for the families of crime victims,” Schmidt said. “We are grateful to Ms. Billings for sharing her message of support with these families.”

The poem is shared below with the permission of the author:

order orlistat without rx The passage of time is said to ease grief’s pain

buy Pregabalin usa But time really does little to make death’s arrow less sharp

go What rounds its point is the power of the love

My heart will always hold for you

You didn’t “pass away”, your life was stolen

And that truth is still lodged like a bone in my throat

Yet I still breathe, still move, still smile and still love

Because I know this is what you would want me to do

And now I only miss you on days that end in “y”

I have planted flowers in all the vacant spaces your death left

And I continue to speak your name so it will never be forgotten

I know there’ll always be a wound in my heart

But I’ll be okay because I feel it slowly healing.

©Annette Hope Billings

The Victims’ Services Division of the Attorney General’s Office is charged with coordinating statewide victim rights efforts and administering grants and education programs. The division also provides a Kansas crime victims’ hotline at (800) 828-9745.

AG Derek Schmidt: Kansas families affected by crime receive special poem

TOPEKA – (December 22, 2017) – Kansas families attending the four remembrance receptions across the state received a special message this year, Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.

Earlier this month, the Kansas Attorney General’s Office in cooperation with the Kansas Organization for Victim Assistance hosted receptions in Garden City, Wichita, Kansas City and Topeka in honor and remembrance of crime victims who lost their lives. This year more than 350 family members, friends and supporters attended the receptions, which recognized 223 individuals who lost their lives due to crime.

A special poem was read at each of the receptions. The poem was authored by Kansan Annette Hope Billings and written especially for Kansans whose lives have been touched by crime.

“The holiday season can be a difficult time for the families of crime victims,” Schmidt said. “We are grateful to Ms. Billings for sharing her message of support with these families.”

The poem is shared below with the permission of the author:

The passage of time is said to ease grief’s pain

But time really does little to make death’s arrow less sharp

What rounds its point is the power of the love

My heart will always hold for you

You didn’t “pass away”, your life was stolen

And that truth is still lodged like a bone in my throat

Yet I still breathe, still move, still smile and still love

Because I know this is what you would want me to do

And now I only miss you on days that end in “y”

I have planted flowers in all the vacant spaces your death left

And I continue to speak your name so it will never be forgotten

I know there’ll always be a wound in my heart

But I’ll be okay because I feel it slowly healing.

©Annette Hope Billings

The Victims’ Services Division of the Attorney General’s Office is charged with coordinating statewide victim rights efforts and administering grants and education programs. The division also provides a Kansas crime victims’ hotline at (800) 828-9745.

AG Derek Schmidt statement on the confirmation of Stephen McAllister as U.S. Attorney for Kansas

TOPEKA – (December 21, 2017) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today congratulated Kansas Solicitor General Stephen R. McAllister on his confirmation as U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas. McAllister was confirmed to the position by the U.S. Senate last night on a voice vote. Schmidt issued the following statement:

“Steve McAllister has served Kansas well as our solicitor general for more than a decade. I have greatly appreciated his wise counsel on the many complex legal cases on which we have worked together to represent the State. While we will miss Steve’s service to the State, I look forward to working closely with him in his new role as U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas.”

McAllister has served as the first Kansas Solicitor General since the position was created. He has had a distinguished career as a constitutional scholar at the University of Kansas, including serving as dean of the law school. McAllister clerked for Justices Byron White and Clarence Thomas at the U.S. Supreme Court. In his position as solicitor general, he has argued multiple cases on behalf of Kansas before the U.S. Supreme Court and the Kansas Supreme Court.

Schmidt said he is working to select a new solicitor general.

AG Derek Schmidt statement on the confirmation of Stephen McAllister as U.S. Attorney for Kansas

TOPEKA – (December 21, 2017) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today congratulated Kansas Solicitor General Stephen R. McAllister on his confirmation as U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas. McAllister was confirmed to the position by the U.S. Senate last night on a voice vote. Schmidt issued the following statement:

“Steve McAllister has served Kansas well as our solicitor general for more than a decade. I have greatly appreciated his wise counsel on the many complex legal cases on which we have worked together to represent the State. While we will miss Steve’s service to the State, I look forward to working closely with him in his new role as U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas.”

McAllister has served as the first Kansas Solicitor General since the position was created. He has had a distinguished career as a constitutional scholar at the University of Kansas, including serving as dean of the law school. McAllister clerked for Justices Byron White and Clarence Thomas at the U.S. Supreme Court. In his position as solicitor general, he has argued multiple cases on behalf of Kansas before the U.S. Supreme Court and the Kansas Supreme Court.

Schmidt said he is working to select a new solicitor general.

AG Derek Schmidt to Federal Court: CFPB not authorized to choose its own director

TOPEKA – (December 20, 2017) – Despite the unique and unaccountable governance structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), only the president has the legal authority to select the CFPB’s acting director, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has told a federal district court.

In a brief filed this week in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Schmidt and the attorneys general of 12 other states argue that under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, only the president has the authority to appoint the CFPB’s acting director and that statute supplants any competing framework set out in the Dodd-Frank Act.

The attorneys general argue that the CFPB director—and by extension, the acting director—wields vast powers commensurate with a principal officer of the United States and that under U.S. Supreme Court precedent those powers can be wielded only by an official nominated and appointed by the president. The 13 attorneys general contend that the attempt by Leandra English, a holdover staff member of the CFPB, to secure and hold the position of acting director without permission of the president is illegal.

“The CFPB wields sweeping power over the actions of millions of Americans,” the attorneys general wrote in their filing. “As a panel of the D.C. Circuit recently observed, ‘the Director of the CFPB possesses more unilateral authority – that is, authority to take action on one’s own, subject to no check – than any single commissioner or board member in any other independent agency in the U.S. Government.’ Any federal official who wields that level of power should be selected by the President – not by an unaccountable federal bureaucrat.”

The brief argues that the states have a direct interest in ensuring that the CFPB governance structure is accountable to democratically elected institutions. In a separate case that remains pending, Kansas and other states are arguing that the structure of CFPB, which insulates it from the congressional budget process that applies to other agencies, is illegal.

The current case is Leandra English v. Donald J. Trump and John M. Mulvaney. A copy of the brief is available at http://bit.ly/2CMw42g.  

AG Derek Schmidt to Federal Court: CFPB not authorized to choose its own director

TOPEKA – (December 20, 2017) – Despite the unique and unaccountable governance structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), only the president has the legal authority to select the CFPB’s acting director, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has told a federal district court.

In a brief filed this week in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Schmidt and the attorneys general of 12 other states argue that under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, only the president has the authority to appoint the CFPB’s acting director and that statute supplants any competing framework set out in the Dodd-Frank Act.

The attorneys general argue that the CFPB director—and by extension, the acting director—wields vast powers commensurate with a principal officer of the United States and that under U.S. Supreme Court precedent those powers can be wielded only by an official nominated and appointed by the president. The 13 attorneys general contend that the attempt by Leandra English, a holdover staff member of the CFPB, to secure and hold the position of acting director without permission of the president is illegal.

“The CFPB wields sweeping power over the actions of millions of Americans,” the attorneys general wrote in their filing. “As a panel of the D.C. Circuit recently observed, ‘the Director of the CFPB possesses more unilateral authority – that is, authority to take action on one’s own, subject to no check – than any single commissioner or board member in any other independent agency in the U.S. Government.’ Any federal official who wields that level of power should be selected by the President – not by an unaccountable federal bureaucrat.”

The brief argues that the states have a direct interest in ensuring that the CFPB governance structure is accountable to democratically elected institutions. In a separate case that remains pending, Kansas and other states are arguing that the structure of CFPB, which insulates it from the congressional budget process that applies to other agencies, is illegal.

The current case is Leandra English v. Donald J. Trump and John M. Mulvaney. A copy of the brief is available at http://bit.ly/2CMw42g.  

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month in Kansas

TOPEKA – (December 19, 2017) Kansas Governor Sam Brownback today proclaimed January to be Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Gov. Brownback was joined by Attorney General Derek Schmidt; Secretary Lana Gordon, Kansas Department of Labor; Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel, Kansas Department for Children and Families; Secretary Susan Mosier, M.D., MBA, FACS, Kansas Department of Health and Environment; and Secretary Joe Norwood, Kansas Department of Corrections in issuing today’s proclamation.

“I’m encouraged by the growing awareness around the scourge of human trafficking and exploitation, and we need to continue to shine light on it, because it is not a problem that’s somewhere far away, it happens right here in Kansas,” Governor Brownback said. “We will continue to shed light on this problem because the best way to combat it is to have citizens armed and aware of the signs and what to do if they suspect someone might be the victim of trafficking.”

Human trafficking is one of the largest and fastest-growing criminal industries in the world. It is based on recruiting, harboring and transporting people for the purpose of exploitation. Both sex trafficking and labor trafficking occur in Kansas and both adults and children are victims. Kansas’ location and interstate system make it a major transportation area for victims of human trafficking.

“The trafficking in persons for sexual or labor exploitation is a stain on 21st century society,” Attorney General Schmidt said. “Kansas continues to stand strong against human trafficking. The public can assist by reporting suspicious activity to the national hotline at 888-3737-888 or to local law enforcement in an emergency situation. The watchful eyes of Kansas citizens can help protect those who are vulnerable from this crime against human dignity.”  

“The victims of human trafficking are often children, forced into an unthinkable world of exploitation,” said Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel. “The Kansas Department for Children and Families is fully committed to working with our partnering state agencies, law enforcement and members of the public to prevent this crime. We encourage anyone who suspects the abuse of a child, whether physical or sexual, to contact the Kansas Protection Center right away at 1-800-922-5330.”

Legislation passed earlier this year in the Kansas legislature provided for several changes in law relating to minor victims of human trafficking, strengthening enforcement efforts, discouraging demand and expanding awareness training. The measure won unanimous support in both the House of Representatives and Senate.

“Labor trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud or coercion,” said Lana Gordon, Secretary Kansas Department of Labor.  “House Bill 2034 strengthened our ability to prosecute labor traffickers, but it is still a big problem. If you or someone you know is working under unfair conditions, report it.”

“Together with partners in our communities, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) raises awareness through public health education to prevent and reduce human trafficking,” said Susan Mosier, M.D., MBA, FACS, KDHE Secretary and State Health Officer.

The governor along with the attorney general’s office, DCF, KDHE, KDOC and KDOL are working together to educate Kansans about the presence of human trafficking, what to look for and how to report suspected human trafficking. Educational information is provided on the agencies’ websites.

“The KDOC is eager to pursue its service to the state in the area of human trafficking,” Secretary Joe Norwood said. “Our contact with both victims and perpetrators of human trafficking puts us on the front line in the fight against this harmful industry.”

For more information on human trafficking, go to http://ag.ks.gov/human-trafficking.