The Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund and co-counsel representing pro-life journalist David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) filed an expedited appeal yesterday in the Ninth Circuit, asking the appellate court to dissolve a federal district court’s preliminary injunction blocking the release of undercover videos that exposed Planned Parenthood’s illegal trafficking of baby body parts.
In 2015, District Judge William Orrick III blocked Daleiden from releasing additional undercover videos of Planned Parenthood leadership discussing fetal tissue trafficking at National Abortion Federation (NAF) conferences. The injunction is part of NAF’s retaliatory lawsuit against Daleiden. NAF officials argued the injunction was needed because the videos would cause pro-life activists to threaten them with violence.
“The National Abortion Federation is using lawfare to try to destroy David. The First Amendment protects David’s right to shine a light on the billion-dollar abortion industry’s illegal selling of baby body parts, so we hope the Ninth Circuit unblocks this unconstitutional injunction.”Charles LiMandri, FCDF’s Chief Counsel
Earlier this year, Daleiden asked Judge Orrick to dissolve the injunction because new facts disproved the judge’s prior findings. Daleiden also had sought the dismissal of the NAF case in its entirety because NAF had dropped all of its federal claims, which eliminated federal jurisdiction over the case. Judge Orrick refused to consider Daleiden’s claims.
“The passage of years has not cast this fundamentally flawed injunction in any better light; to the contrary, intervening developments have only highlighted its legal and factual deficiencies.”Ninth Circuit brief
The brief also states:
“Having no actual federal claims nor any meritorious state ones, NAF is nevertheless pursuing this federal lawsuit against Appellants in the hopes of bullying them into forfeiting their First Amendment rights.”Ninth Circuit brief
The case is entitled National Abortion Federation v. Center for Medical Progress, et al. in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Co-counsel in Daleiden’s defense includes the St. Thomas More Society. Attorney Harmeet Dhilion is also providing counsel on the Ninth Circuit appeal.