WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - The attorneys general of 20 states are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to lift a court ban on damning undercover footage of Planned Parenthood.
The videos in question were released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), headed by investigative journalist David Daleiden. Released in the summer of 2015, the videos caused widespread shock as it exposed the abortion industry's grisly traffic of aborted babies' body parts. Later that year, a federal district judge in California upheld a gag order on the video exposés.
The 20 attorneys general are challenging the ruling before the U.S. Supreme Court. Authored by Arizona's attorney general Mark Brnovich, the friend-of-the-court brief filed September 7 states, "The decision sets a precedent that hampers law enforcement's ability to effectively receive information and investigate possible civil or criminal wrongdoing."
Put plainly, "The Attorneys General routinely receive confidential tips and complaints from whistleblowers, victims, and others," and they worry that this ruling could become precedent for silencing such crucial sources of intelligence.
The now-banned undercover videos permanently impacted American political life, sparking a widespread movement calling for an end to Planned Parenthood's government funding, and numerous calls from multiple states to defund the abortion giant.
Ever since the release of the videos, Daleiden and fellow investigative journalist Sandra Merritt have faced a laundry list of lawsuits from abortion companies, as well as criminal charges.
On July 17, federal judge William H. Orrick — responsible for initially blocking the videos — found Daleiden and two of his attorneys in comtempt of court after CMP published a video online that included excerpts from the blocked videos. Daleiden and his attorneys were ordered to pay nearly $200,000 in civil sanctions.
In July, Church Militant reported that Daleiden and his attorneys were trying to get Orrick removed from the case, on the grounds of conflict of interest. The judge's wife, Caroline Orrick, is an outspoken advocate of abortion, as her social media accounts reveal. Judge Orrick has long-term involvement with Good Samaritan Family Resource Center, an organization with close ties to Planned Parenthood. Orrick also raised about $200,000 in funds for Barack Obama's successful 2008 presidential bid. President Obama appointed Orrick to his current position in 2013.
The Life Legal Defense Foundation filed its own petition to the High Court on behalf of Daleiden on August 3. The Life Legal Defense Foundation is a pro-life organization that battles for the right to life and the pro-life movement.