SAN FRANCISCO (ChurchMilitant.com) - An abortion activist federal judge is slapping pro-life advocate David Daleiden and his lawyers with nearly $200,000 in fines for contempt of court.
Federal Judge William H. Orrick ruled on August 31 that Daleiden and his lawyers, Steve Cooley and Brentford Ferreira, must pay up $195,359 to the National Abortion Federation (NAF).
On July 17, Orrick held the three in contempt of court for releasing videos he blocked in 2015 after the NAF claimed members would face harassment, intimidation and violence from pro-life advocates if they were released.
Cooley and Ferreira maintain they released the video in May 2017 in order to help find witnesses who could corroborate Daleiden's testimony.
Orrick had the videos swiftly taken down and is now granting nearly $200,000 to reimburse the NAF for attorney fees, security, travel, personnel and other costs associated with the undercover videos Daleiden recorded at NAF gatherings in Baltimore and San Francisco.
He further claimed they may damage the business and reputation of abortion providers, adding it was "in the public interest" to keep the contents of the video secret.
Orrick was nominated to the federal court by President Barack Obama and appointed in 2013. He personally donated $30,000 and helped to raise over $200,000 towards Obama's election in the 2008 presidential campaign.
In July 2017, Daleiden filed a motion to disqualify Orrick, maintaining he has a "long-standing relationship" with Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry.
Orrick had been on the board of directors for the Good Samaritan Family Resource Center (GSFRC), an organization in San Francisco that maintains it helps Latino families. He noted on a Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire that he ceased to be on the organization's board of directors in 1999 and noted he "assisted" the GSFRC on "many legal issues" from 1986–2009.
The pro-life advocate learned in January 2017 that Orrick had assisted the board as secretary in 2001 while the GSFRC entered into a "key partnership" with Planned Parenthood, providing space in its facilities and a receptionist for an abortion referral service.
After Orrick handed down the restraining order against the CMP videos in 2015, he continued to be publicly associated with GSFRC. The complaint goes on to say, "At no time did Judge Orrick disclose to Defendants that he sat on the board of an organization that had as a 'key partner' an organization Defendants alleged, both in public statements and as part of their defense, was involved in violations of state and federal law."