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DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - Lawyers for David Daleiden are asking their judge to recuse himself because of his ties to Planned Parenthood that cast doubt on his fairness.
In a press conference on Wednesday, legal counsel for the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) and David Daleiden explained the writ of Mandamus when they filed, asking that Judge William Orrick III recuse himself from presiding over the two federal lawsuits from Planned Parenthood and the National Federation of Abortion. They have sued Daleiden and CMP for releasing undercover videos documenting Planned Parenthood's alleged illegal sale of aborted baby parts.
David Daleiden, project lead for the Center for Medical Progress, explained that Obama-appointed Federal Judge William Orrick said Orrick "is part of the Planned Parenthood family." "He helped open, run and fund a Planned Parenthood clinic in San Francisco during his leadership tenure with an organization in San Francisco called the Good Samaritan Family Resource Center."
Daleiden noted that near the end of Orrick's leadership tenure at Good Samaritan, he was responsible for "inviting in and embedding and housing a Planned Parenthood clinic inside Good Samaritan's headquarters." He said that clinic "is still operational to this day. It's run by Planned Parenthood of Northern California."
Peter Breen, an attorney for the Thomas More Society, explained that the petition for a writ of Mandamus must be raised "right now." Breen said, "We cannot raise the appearance of Judge Orrick's bias at the end of the case." He explained that this is enough to get Orrick recused for bias, that a "reasonable person would call into question [his] impartiality."
Breen said there are three main points in the petition and that Orrick also never disclosed his "longstanding relationship with Good Samaritan Family Resource Center and its joint venture partner and plaintiff Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific." He noted this joint venture was set up in 2001.
Breen explained that this was not addressed earlier in the case "because we didn't know about it." Breen explained during Orrick's Senate confirmation form interview, "He said he left the board of Good Samaritan in 1999, and we found out more recently that that was not true." Breen said, "There was no disclosure of this conflict or potential conflict by the judge to the parties or the public, which is the normal way that you would deal with this."
A few weeks after Orrick issued the gag order, "[H]e was held out publically by the Good Samaritan Center as an emeritus board member ... while the judge entered a gag order and an injunction allegedly to protect the physical property of Planned Parenthood and Good Samaritan and their staff," said Breen, stressing that "the litigation is so important to the national policy."
Additionally, Breen pointed out that "Orrick's image has been deployed repeatedly online in support of terrible statements ... referring to the CMP videos as 'domestic terrorism.'" He says the images linking Orrick to them "were placed there by his own spouse," noting that this is "egregious behavior. It is clear evidence of bias."
Honorable Steve Cooley, former district attorney for Los Angeles County, and Brent Ferreira, former deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County, are Daleiden's defense team for the criminal charges brought against him and Sandra Merritt by Attorney General Xavier Becerra.
Ferreira said, "There has never been a case where so much government authority has been brought to bear to silence one journalist, David Daleiden, and now to silence Steve Cooley and I, his defense attorneys." He continues, "There is no, no integrity to have brought that case and the videos themselves to establish that there is no criminal conduct by David Daleiden." But because of the gag order, they have "not been allowed to use the videos to find the witnesses" and defend their case.
Ferreira noted that these conversations had to have been private to have violated anyone's confidentiality, but they were done in a public place with people walking by. These videos need to be made public so that witnesses can come forward.
He also noted that none of these cases "are about justice, they are only about silencing David Daleiden. It is the most corrupt assault on the First Amendment I have ever seen."
"The public should be able to see the evidence being brought against the accused," added Cooley. "I think it's time for the media to recognize to the extent that this happens to a citizen journalist like David Daleiden and Susan Merritt on such an important issue, if it can happen to them, then it can happen to other honest investigative journalists."