The First Amendment suffered a significant blow when the Ninth Circuit upheld a federal judge’s injunction against the publication of undercover footage taken by our client the Center for Medical Progress of top-level Planned Parenthood leadership at the National Abortion Federation’s annual trade shows. In fact, before now, no federal court had ever issued an order suppressing speech of overwhelming public interest outside of the national security context.
Consequently, today we filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the Court to review the Ninth Circuit’s holding and address whether the First Amendment permits issuance of an injunction restraining the release of information of undisputed and legitimate public interest. The petition was filed in partnership with Life Legal Defense Foundation which represents the Center for Medical Progress’s founder, David Daleiden, in his individual capacity.
The First Amendment protects all citizen journalists like David Daleiden to speak and publish on matters of urgent public concern. As we note in our petition, the Supreme Court has long held that the “dominant purpose of the First Amendment was to prohibit the widespread practice of governmental suppression . . . of material that is embarrassing to the powers that be” – this includes the powerful, billion-dollar abortion industry.