Sunday, November 25, 2007
Patrick Kelly, judge who ruled against abortion protesters, dies at 78
Via the Los Angeles Times:
November 23, 2007
Retired federal Judge Patrick Kelly, 78, whose notable cases included barring abortion protesters from blocking clinic entrances, died Nov. 16 in Wichita, Kan., according to Lakeview Funeral Home in Wichita.
Kelly, who had been battling cancer, was perhaps best known for his role during the 1991 "Summer of Mercy" abortion protests in Wichita. Thousands of demonstrators were arrested during the 45-day event, which was organized by the antiabortion group Operation Rescue.
The group's founder, Randall Terry, dubbed Kelly a "Nazi judge" when Kelly, a devout Catholic, ordered protesters to stop blocking the entrance of the clinic of Dr. George Tiller, one of the few physicians in the country to perform late-term abortions. Kelly also ordered U.S. marshals to provide security.
The Court of Appeals struck down Kelly's ruling on abortion protesters. But Congress affirmed Kelly's intent by passing a law making it a federal crime to block clinic entrances.