A federal judge who fined undercover journalist David Daleiden $16 million for exposing Planned Parenthood’s aborted baby body parts trade is facing accusations of illegal and unethical financial connections to a party in one of his cases.
The Wall Street Journal identified U.S. District Judge William Orrick, of California, as one of 131 federal judges who broke the law by hearing cases in which they or their immediate family had a financial interest. The law requires judges to recuse themselves in such cases to prevent conflicts of interest.
In about two thirds of the cases — including one of Orrick’s, the investigation found that the judges’ rulings were in favor of the group that they had financial ties to, according to the Daily Mail.
The Wall Street Journal did not include any details about or name the group with which Orrick had financial connections. Either he or someone in his immediate family owned stock from the group that he ruled in favor of, the investigation found. He heard the case sometime between 2010 and 2020.
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In response to the findings, Orrick “directed the court clerk to notify the parties of the conflict. The letter, which was publicly filed on the docket in his case, said the stock neither impacted nor affected his decisions,” according to the report.
This is not the first time Orrick has been accused of having a conflict of interest in a case.
Lawyers for Daleiden, the founder of the Center for Medical Progress, asked Orrick to recuse himself from his case several years ago after learning of the judge’s connections to the Planned Parenthood abortion chain. However, Orrick refused.
Daleiden shared the Wall Street Journal investigation on Twitter this week, reminding people about the judge’s conflict of interest in his case as well.
“Judge Orrick, who founded a Planned Parenthood abortion referral clinic that fed pregnant patients into fetus-harvesting program with @StemExpress, is among the federal judges implicated here. Orrick censored hundreds of hours of undercover footage of #PPSellsBabyParts,” he wrote.
Federal law requires judges to recuse themselves from cases in which they have a financial interest or the “ownership of a legal or equitable interest, however small.” However, the Wall Street Journal noted that the law does not penalize judges for violating the law.
The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts responded to the investigation Tuesday by saying the findings were “troubling,” and the office is “carefully reviewing the matter.”
Orrick, an appointee of pro-abortion President Barack Obama, is presiding over one of the lawsuits against Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress, which shocked the nation with their undercover investigation of Planned Parenthood’s aborted baby body parts trade.
In 2015, Orrick issued a gag order stopping Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress from releasing an additional 200 hours of video footage. Later, he and a federal jury awarded Planned Parenthood a $16 million verdict against Daleiden and his organization. They are appealing.
Before becoming a judge, Orrick worked as board secretary and legal counsel for the Good Samaritan Family Resource Center, a San Francisco group that partners with Planned Parenthood. While Orrick was working there, the organization set up a Planned Parenthood facility on site.
Despite Orrick having “an ongoing and longstanding professional relationship with one of the named Plaintiffs,” he refused to recuse himself from the case, lawyers for the Center for Medical Progress said.
Donations to Daleiden’s legal defense may be made to the Thomas More Society, the pro-life legal organization representing him. Click here to donate.
Daleiden’s undercover investigation shocked the world with its expose of Planned Parenthood’s baby body parts harvesting practices. It led to numerous state and federal investigations. U.S. Senate and House committee investigations both concluded with referrals to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution.
Later, two of Planned Parenthood’s business partners in Orange County, California admitted to selling aborted baby body parts in a $7.8 million settlement with the county district attorney’s office.
Their undercover videos did a lot of damage to Planned Parenthood when they revealed the abortion giant’s baby body parts operation. Not only did the Center for Medical Progress investigation raise concerns about potentially illegal sales of human body parts, but it also uncovered evidence of abortionists allegedly putting women’s lives at greater risk by altering abortion procedures to better harvest aborted baby parts. The investigators also found evidence of possible patient privacy violations.
Planned Parenthood repeatedly has denied all allegations of wrong-doing, and many news outlets now parrot its talking points that the undercover videos were deceptively edited or debunked, even though that is not true. An independent forensics investigation verified that the videos were authentic.
Some undercover videos show how Planned Parenthood employees callously and flippantly negotiated the price of tiny baby hearts, lungs, livers and brains. Other evidence indicates the abortion giant may have broken HIPAA patient privacy laws.