The Supreme Court case Center for Medical Progress v National Abortion Federation has a ruling. And in a not-so-poetic twist, they decided on the first day of their new 9-month term.
A pro-life activist who wanted the Supreme Court to order the publication of hundreds of hours of undercover footage showing the abortion industry allegedly selling embryonic body parts had his appeal denied on Monday.
To prevent David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress from releasing any further footage purportedly depicting crimes in the abortion industry, a lower court issued an order against them, and their lawyers have appealed to the Supreme Court for a review.
To schedule oral arguments, the court would have needed the support of four justices.
Defense attorneys for Mr. Daleiden argued that the lower court’s decision to prevent him from sharing the footage violated First Amendment principles.
His legal team said in the petition that “Federal courts do not have free reign to pick whose speech the public has an interest in hearing.”
In 2015, Mr. Daleiden and his group released a video exposing the purchase and trading of baby tissue to expose wrongdoing inside the abortion industry. It provided an inside look at how the abortion industry operates.
His undercover work led to investigations by lawmakers, changes in financing policies, and even criminal prosecutions.
However, the National Abortion Federation fought to prevent the release of any further videos, and they ultimately prevailed.
While they believe the tapes show criminal activity, Daleiden and CMP are still barred from providing them to law enforcement, distributing the footage for public consumption and debate, or even reporting their conclusions. The injunction goes so far as to forbid Daleiden from utilizing the video in any public or legal defense of state criminal charges brought against him at the plaintiff’s insistence. Mr. Daleiden argued to the high court that the lower courts’ verdicts effectively silenced him forever and under any circumstances.
Abortion rights supporters say Mr. Daleiden’s tapes violated their privacy, so he is facing multiple felony charges in California.
More than $2 million in civil damages were awarded to representatives of the abortion business, including Planned Parenthood.