|44th Attorney General of Kansas|
|Assumed office |
January 10, 2011
|Preceded by||Stephen Six|
|Majority Leader of the Kansas Senate|
January 10, 2005 – January 10, 2011
|Preceded by||Lana Oleen|
|Succeeded by||Jay Emler|
|Member of the Kansas Senate|
from the 15th district
January 8, 2001 – January 10, 2011
|Preceded by||Tim Emert|
|Succeeded by||Jeff King|
|Born||January 23, 1968|
Independence, Kansas, U.S.
|Education||University of Kansas (BA)|
University of Leicester (MA)
Georgetown University (JD)
Derek Schmidt (born January 23, 1968) is the 44th and current Kansas Attorney General. Schmidt previously served as a member of the Kansas Senate, representing the 15th district, and as Senate Majority Leader. Before serving in the legislature, he was Special Counsel to Governor Bill Graves.[non-primary source needed]
Schmidt defeated then-attorney general, Democrat Stephen Six in the November 2010 elections, and Democrats A.J. Kotich in the 2014 elections, and Sarah Swain in the 2018 elections. Schmidt resigned his Senate seat upon taking office as attorney general.[non-primary source needed]
Early life and career
Derek Larkin Schmidt was born on January 23, 1968 in Independence, Kansas, the only child of Barbara and Bill Schmidt. He attended the University of Kansas where he received a BA in Journalism in 1990. In the United Kingdom he obtained his Masters in International Politics from the University of Leicester. He attended the Georgetown University Law Center (GULC) where he received his Juris Doctor. While attending classes at GULC, Schmidt served as an assistant, first to former United States Senator Nancy Kassebaum from Kansas, then to Senator Chuck Hagel from Nebraska. Following his graduation he served in several public official roles including Assistant Attorney General of Kansas, and as Special Counsel to the Governor of Kansas.[non-primary source needed]
Schmidt was elected to the Kansas Senate in 2000. He defeated Virgil Peck Jr. in the Republican primary and Democrat Joshua Shelton in the general election. He was re-elected to represent the 15th District in 2004 and again in 2008, both times without opposition.
Immediately upon taking office in January 2001, Schmidt was appointed to serve as Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, a rarity for a freshman senator. He remained chairman until he was later elected Senate Majority Leader by the Senate Republican Caucus in December 2004.
Senate Majority Leader
In the race for Majority Leader, Schmidt defeated then-Senator Tim Huelskamp, who later represented Kansas' First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Schmidt was re-elected Majority Leader in 2008 without opposition.[non-primary source needed]
While serving as Majority Leader, Schmidt also served as Vice Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In both capacities, Schmidt provided leadership on public safety legislation and oversaw the passage of Kansas' version of Jessica's Law, which provides for a life sentence in prison for certain sex offenders who prey on children.
- Increased state funding for education
- Increased eligibility of children for health care
- Nuclear-powered energy
- Tougher punishments for repeat felons
- Legislative spending restraint
- Repeal of a state ban on for-profit prisons
- Senate Bill 584 to consolidate the food inspections agencies
- Senate Bill 531 to increase K-12 educational funding
- House Sub. for SB 81 to increase child health care
- Senate Bill 586 to create financial incentives for nuclear power plant expansion
- House Bill 2707 to create tougher punishments for three-time thieves
- Senate Sub. for HB 2006 to create incentives for the aviation industry
The top contributors to Schmidt's 2008 Senate campaign, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics: Kansas Association of Realtors $2,000, Kansas Contractor's Association $1,500, Watco Industries $1,500, Koch Industries $1,500, and Kansas Chamber of Commerce $1,500.
Schmidt was the Republican nominee for Kansas Attorney General, defeating Ralph DeZago in the Republican Primary on August 3, 2010. He won the general election against the incumbent, Democrat Steve Six and took office on January 10, 2011.
A major issue in Schmidt's first campaign for attorney general was based on Six's decision not to join with the state of Florida and 24 other states on appeal in support of the plaintiff in the proceedings challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Six contended that “the cost of getting involved” would exceed any gain realized by Kansas if the ACA was repealed.
Schmidt won re-election after defeating Democrat AJ Kotich in the 2014 Kansas elections. Schmidt received 564,766 votes, more than any statewide candidate except Ron Estes who was re-elected for a second term as State Treasurer. Schmidt assembled a significantly larger coalition of support than other high profile Republican candidates on the ballot, including Governor Sam Brownback, Senator Pat Roberts, and Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
Tenure in office
Kansas Bureau of Investigation
In 2010, Schmidt campaigned on reinvigorating the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and supporting its needs. In July 2011, he appointed Kirk D. Thompson the 14th Director of the KBI. Soon after, they created the KBI’s first Child Victims Unit and expanded KBI’s cybercrimes capacity by creating the nation’s first transitional Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory.
Schmidt led the successful effort to secure funding and construct a new Forensic Science Center for the KBI. The new forensic laboratory was dedicated in 2015. It is on the campus of Washburn University of Topeka, and as a part of the new partnership, Washburn established a new forensic science degree program.
In 2018, the Kansas Legislature approved Schmidt’s request to hire new KBI field agents and to establish an Internet Crimes Against Children Unit at the bureau.
Consumer Protection and Financial Crimes
Schmidt has established a consumer education and outreach program called In Your Corner Kansas, to help protect Kansans from scams.[non-primary source needed] The Consumer Protection Division of the attorney general's office has recovered more money in Kansas under his tenure than ever before, including a record $61 million in 2017.[non-primary source needed]
In 2016, Schmidt created a new Fraud and Abuse Litigation Division to prosecute financial crimes and elder abuse. The division fights insurance fraud, securities fraud, and tax-related crimes. It also houses the Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation Unit, which works with the Kansas Department for Children and Families, Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, law enforcement and prosecutors statewide to help prevent and prosecute crimes against children and vulnerable adults across Kansas.[non-primary source needed]
Schmidt has made challenging illegal federal overreach a priority throughout his tenure as attorney general. Schmidt, along with the attorneys general of several other states, challenged several federal regulatory actions, during the Obama administration. Schmidt and his colleagues were successful in blocking many of these regulations, particularly those proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency.[non-primary source needed]
One of Schmidt's first acts attorney general for Kansas was to join the states that oppose the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on constitutional grounds in the case of Florida et al v. United States Department of Health and Human Services. An Appeals court later ruled that the addition of those 25 states was not necessary for Florida to have standing to challenge the ACA. The U.S. Supreme Court decided that case by upholding most of the ACA as constitutional, while striking down a portion of the law which would have mandated states to implement Medicaid expansion.
In July 2017, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton led Schmidt and a group of Republican Attorneys General from eight other states joined by Idaho Governor Butch Otter in making a threat to the Donald Trump administration that they would litigate if the president did not terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy that had been put into place by president Barack Obama. One, Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III, subsequently reversed his position and withdrew his participation from the proposed suit on August 31. Slatery went further to urge passage of the DREAM Act. The other Attorneys General who joined in making the threats against Trump included Steve Marshall of Alabama, Leslie Rutledge of Arkansas, Lawrence Wasden of Idaho, Jeff Landry of Louisiana, Doug Peterson of Nebraska, Alan Wilson of South Carolina, and Patrick Morrisey of West Virginia.
U.S. Supreme Court Arguments
Schmidt has argued and won two cases involving the death penalty at the United States Supreme Court. In 2013, he successfully argued Kansas v. Cheever. In 2015, he successfully argued Kansas v. Carr. In the upcoming term, the Court has granted three petitions for writ of certiorari filed by the State of Kansas and will hear oral arguments on each case in the fall of 2019. Two are death penalty cases, Kahler v. Kansas and Kansas V. Glover. The third involves jurisdiction in a forged identity document case, Kansas v. Garcia.
During his tenure as NAAG President, Schmidt led an initiative called “Protecting America’s Seniors: Attorneys General United Against Elder Abuse,” which culminated with a national summit in Manhattan, Kansas in April 2018.
In his capacity as NAAG President, Schmidt led attorney general delegations to Israel and Taiwan. He visited Puerto Rico in July 2018 to launch a NAAG effort to assist the Puerto Rico Secretary of Justice office recover from damage inflicted by Hurricane Maria.[non-primary source needed] He also joined U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in announcing the largest elder fraud enforcement sweep in U.S. history, and he conducted a town hall meeting on consumer protection with Director Mick Mulvaney of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
State Objections Board
Despite numerous judges having rejected challenges to the natural born citizenship of Barack Obama, since before he was elected president in 2008, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach persistently demanded proof of citizenship before allowing Obama's name to appear on the 2012 Kansas presidential ballot. In September 2012, while leading the three-person State Objections Board, and supported by its other members, Kansas Secretary of State Jeff Colyer and Schmidt, Kobach requested additional evidence that Obama was actually born in Hawaii. In September 2012, the three heard arguments on a claim from a Manhattan, Kansas, resident that President Barack Obama was not eligible to be president because his father was from Kenya. The resident, Joe Montgomery, also questioned whether Obama has a valid birth certificate. As head of the Board, Kobach requested additional evidence that Obama was actually born in Hawaii. According to the Topeka Capital-Journal, the Board said it lacked sufficient evidence as to whether or not Obama was eligible to appear on the Kansas ballot as a candidate in the 2012 presidential election. They stated a need to review his birth certificate and other documents from Hawaii, as well as Arizona and Mississippi before they could respond to a complaint alleging that the president was not a "natural born citizen." "Given the cursory response from President Obama, the Board is merely attempting to obtain additional information before making a decision," said Kobach's spokesperson. In an editorial, The New York Times characterized the actions of the Kansas authorities as having "reignited long-running conspiracy theories that the president was not born in the United States." CNN reported that "the Kansas ballot measure is one of several examples of the birther movement's still-persistent presence."
In 2018, after allegations that appointed incumbent and child abuser, Republican Michael Capps, did not live as required in the electoral district in which he was running, a complaint was submitted by the Democratic party to the board. The board, by then composed of Kobach, Schmidt and new Lieutenant Governor Tracy Mann, found the complaint to be invalid and allowed Capps to stay on the ballot and he won the election. Capps received 54% of the vote to 46% for Democrat Monica Marks. When a Wichita Eagle reporter went to the home in the wake of the October 2019 accusations about a fabricated attack video made by Capps against Wichita mayoral runoff candidate Brandon Whipple, an unidentified young man living there said he was "house sitting" and hadn't seen Capps, "in a while."
Schmidt also opposed allowing same-sex couples from changing names on state drivers licenses, from receiving spousal health benefits, or from filing state taxes as married couples. The ACLU sought an injunction against Schmidt's initiatives to continue bans in most of the state's counties despite adversarial rulings from a federal district court in Kansas and from the U.S. Supreme Court.
2014 Senate Race
Schmidt joined forces with Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, filing briefs which attempted to force the Kansas Democratic party to field a candidate in the 2014 U.S. Senate general election. If successful, it was anticipated to have decreased the chances of independent candidate Greg Orman of defeating incumbent Republican Pat Roberts. The Kansas District Court in Shawnee County declined to issue any such order.
In February 2018, in the case of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri v. Andersen, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit found that "States may not terminate providers from their Medicaid program for any reason they see fit, especially when that reason is unrelated to the provider's competence and the quality of the health care it provides." Schmidt claimed that the decision, as well as a similar one made by the Fifth Circuit in the Louisiana case of Gee v. Planned Parenthood Of Gulf Coast, allowed "millions of Medicaid beneficiaries the ability to go directly to federal court to challenge a state's determination that their provider is not 'qualified' — bypassing layers of state administrative review". In December 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States rejected a motion for a writ of certiorari by Schmidt who supported overturning the 10th Circuit's decision.
In 2019, Attorneys General from all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and all four U.S. territories were urged by NAAG to support a bill, the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act (H.R. 1595), sponsored by U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.), which would permit marijuana-related businesses in states and territories to use the banking system. The bill would facilitate collection of taxes levied on the $8.3 billion industry, reduce the danger of operating cash-only businesses and more effectively monitor the industry. Only Schmidt and 16 other A.G.s did not support the measure. 
|Republican||Virgil Peck, Jr.||5,029||41.80|
|Republican||Derek Schmidt (Incumbent)||24,307||100.00|
|Republican||Derek Schmidt (Incumbent)||24,259||100.00|
|Republican||Ralph De Zago||64,493||23.60|
|Democratic||Steve Six (Incumbent)||349,340||41.80|
|Republican gain from Democratic|
|Republican||Derek Schmidt (Incumbent)||564,766||66.70|
|Republican||Derek Schmidt (Incumbent)||599,773||59%|
|Democratic||Sarah G. Swain||410,881||41%|
- "Campaign website biography". Archived from the original on January 22, 2016. Retrieved November 8, 2010.
- Schmidt ousts Six in AG race, Topeka Capital-Journal, 2 November 2010
- Kansas Secretary of State Official Twitter Feed
- "Derek Schmidt Profile". Retrieved December 10, 2007.[non-primary source needed][dead link]
- "Hall Center selects state Sen. Derek Schmidt as first Simons Fellow". Retrieved December 10, 2007.
- "Meet Derek". Derek Schmidt. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
- Wurtz, Stephanie. "Lawmakers Approve Jessica's Law". www.wibw.com. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
- Derek Schmidt's website Archived January 13, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- Carpenter, Tim "AG Nominees Tangle on Records" Topeka Capital-Journal. October 21, 2010. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
- Derek Schmidt 2008 campaign contributions
- "2010 Primary Election Official Vote Totals" (PDF). Kansas Secretary of State's Office. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
- "2010 General Election Results" (PDF). Kansas Secretary of State's Office. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
- Schmidt’s pledge to join ACA challenge bolstered candidacy Kansas AG optimistic states will prevail, but Washburn law professor predicts otherwise, Kansas Health Institute, Jim McLean, March 26, 2012. Retrieved July 16, 2017.
- "Kansas Bureau of Investigation to Staff $1M Cybercrime Unit". www.govtech.com. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
- Anderson, Phil. "New KBI building officially opens Monday at Washburn University". The Topeka Capital-Journal. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
- "Washburn Forensics". washburn.edu. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
- "In Your Corner Kansas -- Attorney General Derek Schmidt". ag.ks.gov. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
- "AG Derek Schmidt: Consumer Protection Division recovers record $61 million in 2017". ag.ks.gov. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
- Brown, Zoe. "Derek Schmidt, Scott Schwab propose voter fraud be prosecuted by attorney general, local prosecutors". KCTV Kansas City. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
- "Abuse Neglect and Exploitation - Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt". ag.ks.gov. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
- Schmidt, Derek (December 5, 2016). "Rein in federal agencies and illegal regulations". Wichita Eagle. Wichita, Kansas. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
- Leblanc, Aileen (August 12, 2016). "Kansas Among States Challenging New EPA Regulations On Oil And Gas Industry". KMUW. Wichita, Kansas. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
- "Bonus Podcast: Federal Court Blocks 'WOTUS' Rule Nationwide". Kansas Ag Network. Topeka, KS. 2015. Archived from the original on July 31, 2017. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
- Hurley, Lawrence; Volcovici, Valerie (February 9, 2016). "U.S. Supreme Court Blocks Obama's Clean Power Plan". Scientific American. New York, NY. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
- Schmidt, Derek (January 12, 2011). "Full text: Kansas Attorney General Schmidt's letter about health care reform". Kansas City Business Journal. Retrieved February 11, 2011.
The Act’s mandate that all citizens and legal residents of the United States maintain qualifying healthcare coverage or pay a penalty (the individual mandate) is an unprecedented attempt to expand federal power that would encroach on the sovereignty of the State of Kansas and on the rights of our citizens.
- Klepper, David (January 12, 2011). "Kansas wants in on health care lawsuit". Kansas City Star. Retrieved February 11, 2011.
The letter, addressed to Florida’s attorney general, asks permission to join the 20 states that are suing the federal government over the law.
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, "State of Florida et al. v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services et al, 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, August 12, 2011. Retrieved July 16, 2017.
- How John Roberts upheld health-care law while limiting congressional power, Christian Science Monitor, Warren Richey June 28, 2012. Retrieved July 16, 2017.
- P. 39–50, slip op., National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, U.S. Sup. Ct. (June 28, 2012). Retrieved March 2, 2013.
- Rosenbaum, Sara; Westmoreland, Timothy (August 2012). "The Supreme Court's Surprising Decision On The Medicaid Expansion: How Will The Federal Government And States Proceed?". Health Affairs. 31 (8): 1663–1672. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2012.0766. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
- Tennessee’s attorney general: I’ve changed my mind, DACA is good, pass the DREAM Act, Vox.com, Dara Linddara, September 1, 2017. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
- Texas leads 10 states in urging Trump to end Obama-era immigration program, Texas Tribune, Julián Aguilar, June 29, 2017. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
- SPLC denounces letter from 10 Attorneys General seeking "cruel and heartless" repeal of DACA, Southern Poverty Law Center, June 30, 2017. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
- "Supreme Court 2019-2020 Term". Oyez.
- Carpenter, Tim (June 23, 2017). "Kansas Attorney General Schmidt to lead national AG organization". Topeka, KS: Topeka Capital-Journal. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
- "State Attorneys General Zero in on Elder Abuse, Financial Exploitation". Financial Regulatory Report. April 23, 2018. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
- "2017 National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) Delegation". America-Israel Friendship League. June 13, 2017. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
- "AG Derek Schmidt visits Puerto Rico to assist local Department of Justice after Hurricane Maria". ag.ks.gov. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
- "NAAG | State Attorneys General Announce Elder Fraud Sweep with Justice Department". www.naag.org. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
- Gartner, Alec (June 8, 2018). "Trump cabinet member talks consumer protection in Topeka". KSNT. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
- New President of NAAG, Louisiana AG Jeff Landry, Begins Initiative to Prepare Attorneys General across the U.S. for Major Disasters and Mass Incidents, National Association of Attorneys General. Retrieved June 1, 2019.
- Around the nation, Washington Times, October 26, 2008. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
- "Kan. board delays decision on Obama, ballot". DeseretNews.com. September 13, 2012. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
- "Kan. board delays decision on Obama, ballot". DeseretNews.com. September 13, 2012. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
- "Kansas Republicans: We need to see Obama's birth certificate". Retrieved July 15, 2017.
- "Obama to appear on Kansas ballot after 'birther' challenge dropped". Retrieved July 15, 2017.
- Kansas GOP Cuts Ties With Michael Capps After Child Abuse Accusations Surface, KCUR, Stephen Bisaha, August 31, 2018. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
- Kansas House of Representatives District 85, Ballotpedia. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
- Sedgwick County Republican Party calls on GOP Rep. Michael Capps to resign over video, Wichita Eagle, Dion Lefler and Chance Swain, November 1, 2019. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
- Preliminary injunction sought in Kansas gay marriage case to force full recognition of marriages, Lawrence Journal World, Peter Hancock, December 8, 2014. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
- AG Derek Schmidt files brief in support of case to force Democrats to field Senate candidate, Wichita Eagle, Bryan Lowry, September 25, 2014. Retrieved December 13, 2014.
- "Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri; Planned Parenthood of St. Louis Region; et al. v. Jeff Andersen". United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. via Justia. February 21, 2018.
- Supreme Court sides with Planned Parenthood in funding fight, KSWB-TV, CNN, December 10, 2018. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
- Attorneys general from 33 states urge banking reform for pot industry, Associated Press, May 8, 2019. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
- "2000 Kansas Primary Election Results (Kansas Senate)" (XLS). Kansas Secretary of State's Office. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
- "2000 Kansas Official General Election Results". Kansas Secretary of State's Office. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
- "2004 Kansas General Election Results (KS Senate)" (XLS). Kansas Secretary of State's Office. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
- "2008 Official General Results" (PDF). Kansas Secretary of State's Office. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
- "2014 General Election Official Results" (PDF). Kansas Secretary of State's Office. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
- "2018 General Election Unofficial Results" (PDF). Kansas Secretary of State's Office. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
- Official website of Attorney General Derek Schmidt
- Project Vote Smart profile
- Follow the Money campaign contributions
- Attorney General Campaign website
| Attorney General of Kansas