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Judge siding with Planned Parenthood over pro-life investigators called into question after WSJ investigation

Planned Parenthood KY

According to an investigation by The Wall Street Journal, more than 130 federal judges violated U.S. law and judicial ethics when they oversaw court cases involving companies in which they, or their families, owned stock. One of those judges, says Center for Medical Progress (CMP) lead investigator David Daleiden, was California District Court Judge William Orrick III, who founded a Planned Parenthood abortion referral clinic and presided over the cases involving CMP’s undercover investigation into Planned Parenthood’s alleged trafficking of aborted body parts.

Since 2010, these judges — appointed by presidents from Lyndon Johnson to Donald Trump — have illegally failed to recuse themselves from 685 court cases throughout the country. As The Wall Street Journal reports, “About two-thirds of federal district judges disclosed holdings of individual stocks, and nearly one of every five who did heard at least one case involving those stocks.”

About two-thirds of the judges ruled in favor of the companies in which they or their families had a financial interest.

In the case of Orrick and Planned Parenthood vs. The Center for Medical Progress, Orrick made decisions that directly benefited Planned Parenthood.

CMP undercover journalists had caught Planned Parenthood executives in 2015 admitting that the abortion giant partakes in selling the body parts of some of the babies they abort for profit. Planned Parenthood sued, and Orrick presided over the case despite his conflict of interest, and was allowed to remain on the case though CMP filed a motion to have Orrick removed.

Orrick blocked the release of undercover footage recorded by CMP at the National Abortion Federation (NAF) meetings where exhibitor recording was “explicitly permitted,” according to CMP investigator David Daleiden. Those videos proved, said Daleiden, that NAF “spent years conspiring with Planned Parenthood on how to violate federal laws on partial-birth abortion and fetal tissue sales.” By blocking the videos, Orrick buried a large amount of evidence against Planned Parenthood, the very company in which he holds a financial interest.

READ: Judge with Planned Parenthood connections blocks release of more pro-life investigative footage

As previously reported by Live Action News, over the course of the six-week trial, Orrick specifically influenced the way the jury considered the arguments, including instructing the jury not to look at the case as a First Amendment case concerning freedom of speech and of the press, despite the fact that Daleiden and fellow investigator Sandra Merritt acted according to the parameters of California recording law. When the case was decided, the jury awarded $2 million in damages to Planned Parenthood.

While Orrick’s alleged conflict of interest was ignored by major media outlets, The Wall Street Journal reported that 56 of the judges found to be in violation of the law and who were exposed by the investigation have moved to notify the parties involved in the lawsuits that they should have recused themselves. This may mean new judges will be assigned to the cases which could lead to new rulings. It is not clear if this will be done in Orrick’s case.

Editor’s Note, 10/13/21: This article has been updated since its original publication.

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