20 state Attorneys General tell Supreme Court to release videos exposing Planned Parenthood
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 8, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Attorneys General in 20 states asked the U.S. Supreme Court release undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s criminal activity.
The top law enforcement officers in those states filed a “friend of the court” brief with the nation’s highest court arguing that they should be privy to violations of law within their jurisdictions.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich authored the amicus brief, which argues for lifting an injunction by Judge William Orrick and upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals stopping the release of the undercover videos made by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP).
Banning the videos “hampers law enforcement’s ability to effectively receive information and investigate possible civil or criminal wrongdoing,” Brnovich reasoned.
Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin are all part of the amicus brief.
A three-minute compilation of some of the banned videos was previously released, resulting in a contempt of court conviction and a $200,000 fine for CMP’s David Daleiden and two of his attorneys. The brief compilation shows Planned Parenthood and National Abortion Federation officials joking about illegally modifying abortion procedures and conceding that abortion is murder.
“Let’s just give them all the violence. It’s a person. It’s killing. Let’s just give them all that,” Planned Parenthood of Michigan’s Lisa Harris said on the video.
The Ninth Circuit court upheld Orrick’s ruling that CMP has no First Amendment right to release the videos because they allegedly signed a confidentiality agreement to attend the National Abortion Federation’s convention.
Brnovich pointed out that criminal activity is not protected by confidentiality agreements, and whistleblowers should be allowed to at least share their evidence with law enforcement authorities.
Life Legal Defense Foundation’s Katie Short, whose organization filed a petition to the Supreme Court on behalf of Daleiden, noted that no federal appeals court has ever upheld a ban based on a confidentiality agreement if the evidence obtained is of “significant public interest and concern.”
“The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the order without fully reviewing the case, as is required when First Amendment freedoms are at stake,” Life Legal’s petition stated.
“Even Judge Orrick acknowledged that the public ‘has an interest in accessing the NAF materials,’” Life Legal continued, “Yet he — and the Ninth Circuit in its affirmation of Orrick’s ruling — elected to protect the interests of the abortion industry over the interests of taxpayers who fund Planned Parenthood to the tune of $550 million annually.”
Daleiden also sought to disqualify Orrick for bias. Orrick is on the board of National Abortion Federation member “Good Samaritan Family Resource Center,” and his wife has publicly posted a picture of her husband with comments praising Planned Parenthood and denigrating the CMP.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has accused Daleiden and CMP’s Sandra Merritt of invasion of privacy in a 15-count indictment. Daleiden said he made the recordings in public places such as restaurants, that he made them to uncover illegal activities, and that Becerra, who received large campaign donations from Planned Parenthood, is biased against his pro-life organization.
“The abortion industry went after David Daleiden for one reason: to protect the reputation it carefully cultivated in four decades of public deception,” Life Legal executive director Alexandra Snyder charged. “Our hope is that the Supreme Court will agree that First Amendment freedoms must not be extinguished to remove from public scrutiny issues of fundamental social … importance.”
Life Legal’s petition stated, “At issue in this appeal is a gag order, a preliminary injunction imposed specifically for the purpose of hiding information from the public, precisely because the information is of such significant public interest and concern — the procurement and sale of aborted fetal body parts.”
Earlier CMP videos revealed Planned Parenthood officials illegally selling aborted baby parts for profit, including “intact” babies. Planned Parenthood’s defense against the damning CMP videos was to deny wrongdoing and accuse CMP of deceptively editing the videos. But several analyses concluded the videos were not deceptively edited.
Even Planned Parenthood-hired research firm Fusion GPS confirmed that comments recorded were spoken by the subjects depicted and admitted that their best “analysis did not reveal widespread evidence of substantive video manipulation.”
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has the highest percentage of judges appointed by Democratic presidents. Orrick himself is an Obama appointee. Conservatives have long argued that the court is biased.
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