Kansas cites Dred Scott decision in abortion case

Published: Oct. 19, 2016 at 5:29 PM CDT
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Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is withdrawing a court brief that cites the slavery-era Dred Scott decision to support the state's position that the Kansas Constitution does not guarantee a right to an abortion.

Schmidt said Wednesday in a statement that the filing submitted to the Kansas Supreme Court a day earlier does not accurately reflect the state's position and should not have been made.

The state used the 1857 Dred Scott case to bolster its argument that the Declaration of Independence had no legally binding effect.

Schmidt says the reference was "obviously inappropriate," and he ordered it withdrawn once he became aware of it.

In the infamous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a black person whose ancestors were sold as slaves could not be a U.S. citizen.