Supreme CourtAmericaDavid DaleidenFederal CourtsFreedom of SpeechJudge William OrrickKamala HarrisLegalLiberty CounselNational Abortion Federation (NAF)Operation RescuePlanned ParenthoodPoliticsProLifeSandra MerrittThe Center for Medical ProgressThe Thomas More SocietyXavier Becerra

Supreme Court won’t hear case that targeted pro-life investigators Daleiden and Merritt

The Supreme Court will not hear a bid to toss out damages awarded to Planned Parenthood, after an appeal from David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, undercover investigators for the Center of Medical Progress (CMP). CMP drew attention to the abortion industry’s harvesting and trafficking of aborted fetal body parts in 2015, and litigation has been ongoing since that time.

Earlier this year, the Thomas More Society, which is representing Daleiden, announced that it had filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the Supreme Court, arguing that the lower courts violated Daleiden’s First Amendment rights. Liberty Counsel, which is representing Merritt, likewise asked the Supreme Court to review a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision against Merritt in favor of Planned Parenthood.

In a statement, Liberty Counsel said the Supreme Court denied their appeal, without giving any comment as to why.

“The First Amendment prohibits courts from stopping journalists from publishing their work, other than in the most extreme cases, but here, the courts were quick to denigrate David Daleiden’s videos and speech and to silence him on an issue of supreme public importance,” Peter Breen, Thomas More Society Executive Vice President and Head of Litigation, said in May.

READ: Shocker: LA Times editorial board finds CA charges against Center for Medical Progress ‘disturbing’

“The American people have a right to all of the relevant information on an issue, not just what certain judges think they should see and hear. These are not private videos — they’re videos of an 800-person abortion trade show that Mr. Daleiden was invited to attend. David Daleiden is one of the most notable undercover journalists of our time, reporting on one of the most contentious political issues of our day,” Breen added. “If the high-profile work of someone of David’s stature can be banned, no undercover journalist is safe from the risk of ruinous financial sanctions and never-ending lawsuits. The Supreme Court must step in to save undercover journalism.”

Daleiden and Merritt were sued by the National Abortion Federation (NAF) in 2015, seeking to block their undercover footage from being seen by the public. A permanent injunction was granted, blocking the release of any of the over 500 hours of recordings at NAF conferences, and Daleiden was forced to pay $6 million in attorney’s fees and costs.

He is also still facing criminal charges, filed against him by then-California Attorneys General Kamala Harris and Xavier Becerra, at the urging of NAF and Planned Parenthood. The current injunction means that Daleiden cannot use his footage in the case against him, and the petition filed with the Supreme Court asks that he be able to freely use that footage in his defense.

A jury likewise sided with Planned Parenthood, and their decision was upheld by the the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The abortion giant was awarded $2.4 million in damages, as well as over $13 million in attorneys’ fees and costs. In 2017, Daleiden filed suit to remove Judge William Orrick from his case and was denied, despite the fact that Orrick “has close ties with the abortion industry, including a long relationship with a board member of a Planned Parenthood affiliate who is a member of the National Abortion Federation (NAF).”

Life begins at conception. Abortion is legalized murder.

Christine Hammett

Is a baby only real if he is wanted? Please, choose life! Chris Hammett is a pro-life blogger (Abolitionist Arise) and 40 Days for Life participant joining millions in praying for an end to abortion and for Personhood from conception until natural death. She is a prayer partner with ProLife Action Ministries. She lives in Central Florida and has been married for 40+ years. Owen Osvaldo (O.O.) is their first grandchild. She previously worked as a graphic and web designer with Empower Creative Services LLC. She is currently practicing wildlife photography. The photography page of this site features some of her images from Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive.

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