Operation Rescue reports today that the Center for Medical Progress is seeking to appeal the Ninth Circuit Court’s decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. OR says the reason for the appeal is “to protect the First Amendment Rights of journalists to report to law enforcement evidence of crimes contained in undercover recordings.” The Ninth Circuit Court had ruled against CMP, disallowing the group from turning over its undercover videos to law enforcement for investigation of abortion industry members’ potential illegal activity.
According to Operation Rescue, a three-member panel of the Ninth Circuit made the original ruling suppressing the group’s videos, and a hearing by the full panel was denied. The group states:
A joint motion filed May 5, 2017, is seeking a stay of the Ninth Circuit’s mandate pending the filing of a certiorari petition with the U.S. Supreme Court.
The motion states that the court wrongly upheld a “prior restraint” on CMP’s First Amendment speech, which had captured great public interest. The undercover videos were also the subject of investigations by House and Senate panels that later referred Planned Parenthood organizations to the U.S. Department of Justice and state Attorneys General for further criminal investigation and prosecution.
“Prior restraints are ‘the most serious and least tolerable infringement of First Amendment Rights,’” stated the motion to stay.
Defense attorneys for the Center for Medical Progress stated that “outside the context of trade secrets and classified information, no federal court – other than now this Court – has upheld an order suppressing information of high public interest based simply on the agreement of the parties to do so.”
OR’s senior vice president Cheryl Sullenger added that in its decision, the Ninth Circuit “has opted to protect the ability of the NAF [National Abortion Federation] and Planned Parenthood to conceal possible criminal activity.”
While pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood have attempted to convince the public that CMP’s undercover videos were “faked” and “deceptively edited,” two forensic analyses found no evidence of this, and California AG Xavier Becerra is currently prosecuting CMP investigators David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt for recording abortion industry professionals without their knowledge. Charges previously brought against Daleiden and Merritt in the state of Texas were dropped, and it was discovered that the grand jury never considered bringing charges against Planned Parenthood. It was also discovered that prosecutors in D.A. Devon Anderson’s office had unethically exchanged information with Planned Parenthood’s attorneys.
There is currently no word on whether the Supreme Court will take up the Center for Medical Progress’s appeal.