National Abortion Federation Lawsuit Against Daleiden Threatens Undercover Journalism
Contact: Tom Ciesielka, 312-422-1333, [email protected]
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 17, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — WHO: Thomas More Society Attorneys Available for Comment Immediately Following Hearing
WHAT: National Abortion Federation v. Center for Medical Progress
WHEN: Friday, December 18, 2015, 9:00 a.m. PST
WHERE: United States District Court, Northern District of California – San Francisco Courthouse, 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102 Courtroom 2
Thomas More Society attorneys, along with California co-counsel, will present arguments in the United States District Court, Northern District of California, opposing two major motions by the National Abortion Federation. The first motion attempts to obtain a preliminary injunction to silence David Daleiden and The Center for Medical Progress from publishing any videos taken during the National Abortion Federation’s 2014 and 2015 annual meetings. The second motion attempts to hold David Daleiden and The Center for Medical Progress in contempt of court for producing to Congress the footage and documents from the 2014 and 2015 annual meetings, in response to a subpoena from the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Thomas More Society is defending Daleiden’s First Amendment right to uncover to law enforcement and the public the abortion industry’s gruesome trafficking in aborted baby body parts.
Statement from Tom Brejcha, Thomas More Society President and Chief Counsel: “The National Abortion Federation (NAF) is working with Planned Parenthood to suppress David Daleiden’s First Amendment rights and to shut down his investigation of the abortion groups’ involvement in baby parts trafficking. But equally as any other investigative journalist working for ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, or your local print or electronic media outlet may regularly resort to undercover journalism tactics to ferret out hidden crime, so too David Daleiden should have the right to penetrate the criminal underworld of America’s abortion providers and report all the evidence he has uncovered of criminal wrongdoing to law enforcement and to members of the public. Thus NAF’s lawsuit, charging David with ‘fraud’ and ‘racketeering’ is nothing less than illicit censorship — a prior restraint at war with our fundamental notions of free speech and freedom of the press. It is no wonder that the U.S. Reporters’ Committee filed a ‘friend of the Court’ submission before the district court hearing NAF’s case, protesting that ‘any prior restraint on speech that is issued by a court has the potential to significantly affect the First Amendment rights of the news media and the public at large.’ If NAF wins this case, criminals will rejoice and journalists will weep.”
The brief that Thomas More Society and co-counsel have filed on behalf of Daleiden in opposition to NAF’s preliminary injunction includes:
1. Information about the precedent set by the recent Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Otter case, where the 9th Circuit ruled definitively that investigative journalism is not “fraud” and fully protected by the First Amendment (page 2)
2. Admissions from NAF and Planned Parenthood abortion providers about their criminal participation in trafficking in aborted baby body parts documented at NAF meetings, redacted from the public filing and prevented from release by court order (pages 10-15)
3. The blatantly unconstitutional character of prior restraints on speech (pages 32-38)
The arguments on NAF’s motion for preliminary injunction and motion for contempt will be heard in the San Francisco Northern Federal District Court of California on December 18, 2015, at 9 a.m.