Published On: Tue, Apr 3rd, 2018

SCOTUS won’t hear CMP, Planned Parenthood video case, Justice ‘remains gagged’

The U.S. Supreme Court will not reverse a lower court’s decision to block the release of additional undercover videos alleged to show further evidence that the abortion industry illegally trafficked in organs from aborted babies.

On Monday, the court declined to review U.S. District Judge William Orrick’s decision to block the pro-life Center for Medical Progress (CMP) from releasing videos taken at the National Abortion Federation’s (NAF) annual 2014 and 2015 meetings.

gavel judge court case ruling

photo by Okan Caliskan via Pixabay

The Thomas More Society, the Life Legal Defense Foundation, and the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund had petitioned the Supreme Court to review the injunction, which the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed. The court’s rejection of that petition came without comment or any count of how the justices voted.

“Justice is not only blind, but it remains gagged for the time being,” Thomas More President and Chief Counsel Tom Brejcha said in a statement emailed to Life Site News.

“We are confident David Daleiden’s First Amendment rights will be upheld ultimately. We are disappointed with what appears to be the Supreme Court’s decision that these problems are better addressed at lower court levels at this time. When the smoke finally clears, we believe David Daleiden will be completely vindicated for exposing the truth about the abortion industry,” Brejcha added.

In order to attend the pro-abortion conference, CMP founder David Daleiden and other pro-life investigators had posed as representatives of a company called BioMax Procurement Services.

Orrick sided with NAF’s argument that the videos violated confidentiality agreements the investigators had signed in order to attend the events, which he said negated CMP’s argument that it had a First Amendment right to release the videos.

Life Legal notes that the Supreme Court has previously taken a dim view of such gag orders, citing prior rulings that “prior restraints on speech and publication are the most serious and the least tolerable infringement on First Amendment rights,” because the First Amendment’s “dominant purpose” was to prevent “governmental suppression of embarrassing information.” Life Legal argues that the undercover videos are precisely the sort of content the Founders intended to protect.

“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 said. “The Ninth Circuit’s ruling effectively extinguishes public scrutiny of issues of fundamental social and political importance.”

Read the Thomas More Society’s Petition for a Writ of Certiorari, filed August 3, 2017, with the United States Supreme Court in David Daleiden et al v. National Abortion Federation here [https://www.thomasmoresociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/USSC-Petition-for-Writ-of-Certiorari.pdf].

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