Yesterday, the Supreme Court rejected the Center for Medical Progress’s (CMP) request to override a lower court’s gag order on the release of undercover video footage recorded at two annual National Abortion Federation (NAF) conventions, which shows more of the underbelly of the abortion industry’s trafficking of aborted fetal body parts.
In July 2015, Judge William Orrick, who, with his wife, has been so intimately involved with Planned Parenthood that his impartiality in the case has been rightly questioned, ruled that the CMP’s NAF videos could possibly cause harm to abortion providers and compromise their safety. Therefore, any potential evidence of the illegal trafficking of fetal tissue in the undercover videos is being suppressed by Judge Orrick’s gag order.
In the summer of 2017, Judge Orrick held the Center for Medical Progress, team lead David Daleiden, and Daleiden’s attorneys Brentford Ferreira and Steve Cooley, in contempt for violating the gag order, reportedly “after links to the videos appeared on the attorneys’ website.” Daleiden “was also ordered to give the court any video footage or materials related to the original injunction,” according to a previous report from Live Action News.
Daleiden’s attorneys, however, argued that because California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed criminal proceedings against Daleiden and CMP for recording the videos, the footage was entered into the public record. National Review noted at the time:
According to Cooley, the San Francisco Superior Court made much of the undercover footage publicly available when the videos were filed as part of the proceedings in that criminal case. Cooley’s decision to make that footage available on his own site was primarily an effort to make public what is already technically part of public records, in order to give the media and the public better access to information as the case unfolds.
Cooley referred to the issue as a “conflict of laws,” pitting a district judge’s injunction against the Superior Court’s decision to file the videos as part of public records. “The blog was nothing more than a memorialization of public filings in the history of the case,” Cooley says of the webpage where he posted the videos….
According to Life News, Thomas More Society attorney Tom Brejcha remarked, “Justice is not only blind, but it remains gagged for the time being,” adding, “We are confident David Daleiden’s First Amendment rights will be upheld ultimately. We are disappointed with what appears to be the Supreme Court’s decision that these problems are better addressed at lower court levels at this time. When the smoke finally clears, we believe David Daleiden will be completely vindicated for exposing the truth about the abortion industry.”