Two years ago, Judge William Orrick granted an injunction against the Center for Medical Progress, putting in place a gag just hours after the National Abortion Federation filed a lawsuit to prevent undercover videos filmed inside one of their conferences from being released. Despite being a blatant attack on free speech, Orrick later extended the ban, and has since held David Daleiden and his attorneys, Steve Cooley and Brentford Ferreira, in contempt of court. Now, Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress are firing back.
Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress filed a petition for writ of certiorari at the United States Supreme Court, with the intent of appealing the gag order Orrick placed against them.
The petition points out that an order designed to suppress speech has never been upheld before, and suggests that it was put into place specifically to keep the public from the information revealed in the videos. “Judge Orrick’s gag order, issued at the behest of Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation, is an unprecedented attack on the First Amendment by a clearly biased federal judge,” Daleiden said. “Judge Orrick even wants to press his gag order in the California Attorney General’s bogus criminal case against me — though he, NAF, and Planned Parenthood insist the gag order only applies to my defense, and not to the Attorney General’s bogus prosecution.”
While pro-lifers have taken great interest in the unconstitutional gag order filed against Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress, others have found it disturbing, as well. The U.S. Reporters’ Committee filed a ‘friend of the Court’ submission opposing the restraining order, a move not entirely surprising. The committee argued that this was an attack on free speech, and could have troubling repercussions if allowed to stand.
Journalists frequently use the undercover investigation methods used by Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress, which is why many suspect that Orrick’s gag order is politically motivated. Orrick is alleged to have a pro-abortion bias, with ties to both Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation, including opening and helping to run a Planned Parenthood facility.
Earlier this year, the Center for Medical Progress also filed a motion to disqualify Orrick due to these apparent conflicts of interest, which is still pending.