A Kansas judge has overruled a request to dismiss a petition against a man accused of stalking an abortion provider.
In court documents released Saturday, Sedgwick County Judge James Beasley denied a defense request to dismiss the case filed by the woman who opened Wichita's first abortion clinic since abortion provider George Tiller was murdered in church.
Julie Burkhart won a temporary protection from stalking order earlier this year against Mark Holick, pastor of Spirit One Ministries. The pastor is accused of distributing "wanted-style" posters with Burkhart's picture and home address.
Holick’s attorney’s argued the protection from stalking act did not apply because his client’s speech was protected under the first amendment.
In his ruling, Judge Beasley disagreed, citing a U.S. Supreme Court case (Frisby v. Schultz) where the court ruled “The State's interest in protecting the well-being, tranquility, and privacy of the home is certainly of the highest order in a free and civilized society.”