Federal appeals court sets hearing date for arguments in Kansas abortion threat case

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WICHITA, Kansas — A federal appeals court has scheduled arguments 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.

A notice Monday at the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sets a Nov. 18 hearing in the Justice Department's lawsuit against Angel Dillard.

At issue is whether a federal judge in Wichita wrongly concluded Dillard's letter was not a "true threat." The judge ruled that the letter was constitutionally protected speech. The government appealed.

Dillard claims in a cross-appeal that the government violated her speech and religious rights when it sued her in 2011 for sending the letter to Dr. Mila Means, who at the time was training to offer abortions after Dr. George Tiller's 2009 murder.

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