Name: Derek Schmidt

Age: 42

Party: Republican

Hometown: Independence, KS

Political Experience: Elected by the voters of the 15th District in southeast Kansas three times to the Kansas Senate; Elected twice as Kansas Senate majority leader.

Name: Derek Schmidt
Age: 42
Party: Republican
Hometown: Independence, KS
Political Experience: Elected by the voters of the 15th District in southeast Kansas three times to the Kansas Senate; Elected twice as Kansas Senate majority leader.

1. A multi-state lawsuit was immediately filed after the signing of the federal health care bill earlier this year. The suit contends that forcing Americans to purchase health insurance from private insurers violated the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Kansas did not participate. Please explain why you agree/disagree with the lawsuit.

I support the lawsuit — as to most Kansans. This is about more than health care.
Two federal judges in two separate cases have ruled that these lawsuits raise serious constitutional questions about the new “Obamacare” law. For the first time in the history of our country, this new law claims the power for the federal government to pass a law ordering Americans to buy a product, and them point to that purchase as authority to regulate behavior under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. Many Kansans are deeply troubled by this unprecedented power grab and want Kansas to join in challenging its constitutionality. If this legal precedent stands, then the power, scope and cost of the federal government will truly be unlimited — and that is not the intent of our federal system, which created a central government of limited powers. Kansas should be involved — for anybody who cares about limited government, this is a fight worth fighting.
 
2. Explain why you are the best qualified for the position you are seeking.

The attorney general is a constitutional officer for Kansas. The job requires a leader who broad experience who listens to Kansans, responds to their needs and priorities, and has a proven record of getting things done in state government. In 14 years as an attorney, I have worked with federal, state and local law. As special counsel to a governor and as an assistant attorney general, I gained valuable experience in the legal aspects of state government.
The attorney general is more than a staff attorney for our state. Kansas needs a leader  in the attorney general’s office who will:
• stand up and fight for resources public safety requires. I have a strong record of fighting for public safety needs in the Senate;
• take on major legal issues such as challenging the constitutionality of the federal health care mandate, which is a raw power grab by the federal government; and
• execute their role in advocating for a stable legal climate that promotes jobs and honest investment.
My wide-ranging legal experience, combined with more than a decade of public service in elected office, better prepare me to be the leader we need.