A federal appeals court has scheduled a mediation conference in the case of a Kansas abortion opponent who sent a letter to a Wichita doctor saying someone might place an explosive under her car.
The Justice Department has appealed an August ruling by U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten that Angel Dillard’s letter is constitutionally protected speech. Marten summarily ruled the letter did not constitute a “true threat” under law.
Dillard is cross-appealing Marten’s earlier rulings dismissing her counterclaims. The Valley Center woman claims the government violated her speech and religious rights when it sued her for sending the letter to Dr. Mila Means in 2011.
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled a Nov. 15 telephone conference to explore possibilities for settlement and resolve procedural issues.