Derek Schmidt

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Derek Schmidt
44th Attorney General of Kansas
Assumed office
January 10, 2011
Governor Sam Brownback
Preceded by Stephen Six
Member of the Kansas Senate
from the 15th district
In office
January 8, 2001 – January 10, 2011
Preceded by Tim Emert
Succeeded by Jeff King
Majority Leader of the Kansas Senate
In office
January 10, 2005 – January 10, 2011
Preceded by Lana Oleen
Succeeded by Jay Emler
Personal details
Born (1968-01-23) January 23, 1968 (age 54)
Independence, Kansas, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Jennifer Schmidt
Alma mater University of Kansas (B.A.)
Georgetown University (J.D.)

Derek Schmidt (born January 23, 1968) is the 44th and current Attorney General of Kansas. Schmidt previously served as 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.[1]

Schmidt defeated former attorney general, Democrat Stephen Six in the November 2010 elections [2] and Democrat A.J. Kotich in the 2014 elections. Schmidt resigned his Senate seat upon taking office as attorney general.[3]

Early life and career

Derek Larkin Schmidt was born on January 23, 1968 in Independence, Kansas.[4] Schmidt is the only child of Barbara Schmidt and Bill Schmidt.[4] He attended the University of Kansas where he received a BA in Journalism.[4] Schmidt went overseas to the United Kingdom where at the University of Leicester he obtained his Masters in International Politics.[5] He went on to attend Georgetown University Law Center (GULC) where Schmidt received his Juris Doctor.[5] While attending classes at GULC, Schmidt served as an assistant first to former United States Senator Nancy Kassebaum, and then to Senator Chuck Hagel.[1] 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.[1]

Legislative career

During his time in the Senate, Schmidt supported:[6]

  • 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 [7]

Legislation sponsored or co-sponsored by Schmidt included:[6]

  • 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

Major donors

The top contributors to Schmidt's 2008 Senate campaign, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics:[8] Kansas Association of Realtors $2,000, Kansas Contractor's Association $1,500, Watco Industroes $1,500, Koch Industries $1,500, and Kansas Chamber of Commerce $1,500. Schmidt's attack on the incumbent, Steve Six, was based on the latter's refusal to join with other states on appeal in support of the plaintiff in the proceedings in which the state of Florida case challenged constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.

As Attorney General

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.[9][10] Florida, Kansas and the other 24 states that joined the suit, along with the National Federation of Independent Business and two individual plaintiffs, lost the case in a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision.[11] 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.[12] 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.[13]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Campaign website biography
  2. Schmidt ousts Six in AG race, Topeka Capital-Journal, 2 November 2010
  3. Kansas Secretary of State Official Twitter Feed
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Derek Schmidt Profile". Retrieved 2007-12-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Hall Center selects state Sen. Derek Schmidt as first Simons Fellow". Retrieved 2007-12-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 Derek Schmidt's website
  7. Carpenter, Tim "AG Nominees Tangle on Records" Topeka Capital-Journal. 21 October 2010. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
  8. Derek Schmidt 2008 campaign contributions
  9. Schmidt, Derek (2011-01-12). "Full text: Kansas Attorney General Schmidt's letter about health care reform". Kansas City Business Journal. Retrieved 2011-02-11. 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Klepper, David (2011-01-12). "Kansas wants in on health care lawsuit". Kansas City Star. Retrieved 2011-02-11. The letter, addressed to Florida’s attorney general, asks permission to join the 20 states that are suing the federal government over the law.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. P. 39–50, slip op., National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, U.S. Sup. Ct. (June 28, 2012). Retrieved 2 March 2013.
  12. ACLU asks for stop in denying same-sex marriages, Connecticut Post, Heather Hollingsworth (A.P.), December 8, 2014. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  13. AG Derek Schmidt files brief in support of case to force Democrats to field Senate candidate, Wichita Eagle, Bryan Lowry, September 25, 2014. Retrieved 13 December 2014.

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Stephen Six
Attorney General of Kansas
Succeeded by