The U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to hear an appeal to dismiss Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit against David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress.
The decision means Planned Parenthood may continue its legal action against Daleiden and his undercover investigative group, which exposed the abortion chain’s aborted baby body parts trade. The abortion group has accused Daleiden of fraud and invasion of privacy, among other things, according to Reuters.
The Center for Medical Progress argued that the Planned Parenthood lawsuits interfered with the organization’s right to free speech and that it violated a law in California meant to protect citizen journalists. Because the Supreme Court will not take up the case, the ruling from the 9th Circuit permitting the lawsuit to proceed remains in place.
The case did not receive the support of at least four justices, which is the threshold all cases must meet in order to receive a hearing in the Supreme Court. The justices have appeared reluctant to take up controversial topics, including those linked to abortion, after the bruising confirmation battle Justice Brett Kavanaugh faced in the Senate.
In their petition to the Supreme Court, attorneys for the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund and St. Thomas More Society argued that the Ninth Circuit ruling is “obliterating” Daleiden’s First Amendment defenses against Planned Parenthood.
As part of his defense, Daleiden filed an anti-SLAPP (“strategic lawsuits against public participation”) motion against Planned Parenthood. Anti-SLAPP laws protect individuals against powerful interest groups that might sue to intimidate and silence a person, particularly those exposing corruption or illegal actions. When a defendant files an anti-SLAPP motion, the suing party has to prove that it is not trying to suppress the person’s First Amendment rights.
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In this case, Daleiden is arguing that Planned Parenthood’s massive lawsuit is nothing more than a massive campaign to silence and destroy him for exposing their illegal fetal tissue trafficking.
“The billion-dollar abortion industry is stopping at nothing to crush David,” said Charles LiMandri, FCDF’s Chief Counsel and counsel of record in the Supreme Court appeal, previously. “The anti-SLAPP laws are designed for cases just like David’s, yet the Ninth Circuit chose to side with the abortionists rather than uphold the law.”
In 2018, the Supreme Court also refused to hear an appeal of a court ruling barring Daleiden from releasing hundreds of hours of undercover video recordings.
His attorneys said they still believe Daleiden will win his case against the abortion industry.
“We are confident David Daleiden’s First Amendment rights will be upheld ultimately,” Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel at the Thomas More Society, said in 2018. “We are disappointed with what appears to be the Supreme Court’s decision that these problems are better addressed at lower court levels at this time. When the smoke finally clears, we believe David Daleiden will be completely vindicated for exposing the truth about the abortion industry.”