Contact: Alexandra Snyder, Life Legal Defense Foundation
NAPA, Calif., Nov. 21, 2017 /Christian Newswire
/ -- Life Legal attorneys appeared before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday on behalf of David Daleiden in Planned Parenthood v. Center for Medical Progress.
At issue is Life Legal's anti-SLAPP motion, which was denied by federal district court judge William Orrick. A SLAPP, or Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, is a lawsuit filed to suppress a defendant's First Amendment rights to speech and petition.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America and ten of its affiliates sued the Center for Medical Progress for one purpose—to silence David Daleiden and other investigative journalists seeking to shed light on the criminal practices of the nation's largest abortion provider. Planned Parenthood's lawsuit seeks tens of millions of dollars in damages, which would effectively shutter the Center for Medical progress and, more importantly, chill and silence others looking to expose Planned Parenthood's illegal and unethical abortion and fetal body part harvesting methods.
Under California law, once a defendant has shown that a plaintiff's lawsuit arises from free speech on a matter of public interest, the burden of proof shifts to the plaintiffs to prove that their claims are legally and factually sufficient to proceed with the lawsuit. In this case, we easily met the first prong, showing that Planned Parenthood's lawsuit is squarely aimed at David Daleiden's constitutional right to publish material showing Planned Parenthood's role in the trafficking of baby body parts.
But Planned Parenthood has consistently failed to meet its burden to produce evidence that the 15 separate causes of action filed against David Daleiden have any merit whatsoever.
"Since the first video was released, the abortion giant has focused on damage control by filing a lawsuit intended to silence the messenger," said Life Legal's Executive Director Alexandra Snyder. "The anti-SLAPP law prohibits such lawsuits, as they suppress free speech. It is our hope that the Ninth Circuit Court will apply the time-tested elements of the anti-SLAPP statute and render an opinion that protects David Daleiden's First Amendment rights."
Planned Parenthood is currently under active investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. Recently the FBI requested unredacted documents from the Senate Judiciary Committee, which held numerous hearings after Daleiden's videos were released. The videos showed Planned Parenthood's willingness to negotiate the sale of baby parts for profit and resulted in the committee referring for prosecution seven of the affiliates currently suing Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress. About Life Legal Defense Foundation
Life Legal Defense Foundation was established in 1989, and is a nonprofit organization composed of attorneys and other concerned citizens committed to giving helpless and innocent human beings of any age, and their advocates, a trained and committed voice in the courtrooms of our nation. For more information about the Life Legal Defense Foundation, visit www.lldf.org.