Journalist Seeks Disqualification of Planned Parenthood-Associated Judge Who Banned Videos from Internet

Daleiden (Eric Kayne / Getty)
Eric Kayne / Getty

The undercover journalist who stunned the nation with a series of videos exposing the alleged fetal tissue practices of Planned Parenthood has filed a petition seeking to disqualify the federal judge who has banned links to remaining footage of his recordings.

“We have just filed our petition for a Writ of Mandamus at the 9th Circuit federal appeals court, seeking the disqualification of Judge William Orrick III,” said David Daleiden – project lead for Center for Medical Progress (CMP) – during a press call Wednesday that highlighted the judge’s associations with a partner of Planned Parenthood.

Orrick – an Obama appointee – is the federal judge in San Francisco who is adjudicating twin federal lawsuits against Daleiden and CMP. The lawsuits were filed against CMP by Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and its affiliates, and the National Abortion Federation (NAF). The pro-life organization’s undercover video series exposed the alleged involvement of Planned Parenthood, and its partners in the biomedical procurement industry, in the sale of the body parts of aborted babies for profit.

Orrick censored any video links and references to the identities of NAF members in May, claiming their publication would endanger the lives of NAF abortionists.

According to the petition, which cites evidence of Orrick’s bias in favor of Planned Parenthood and NAF:

Judge Orrick must be recused for the following reasons:

  1. He has an ongoing and longstanding professional relationship with one of the named Plaintiffs, whose security and property are allegedly at risk here.
  2. His image has been used, by his own spouse, to endorse inflammatory public statements about the disputed facts of this case – statements that denigrated the principal Defendant in the harshest terms, while lauding Plaintiffs.
  3. He neglected to bring these facts to the attention of the parties early in the case when a motion could otherwise have been brought.
  4. Neither he nor the judge to whom he referred the recusal motion properly followed the statutory recusal procedures.

“This is a high-profile case with national public policy implications,” states the petition. “Congress, the media, and the public are all watching. This Court should not permit it to proceed to trial when it is certain that any outcome unfavorable to Defendants will be clouded by the appearance of bias.”

Daleiden notes evidence that Orrick has a longstanding relationship as a past board member and an emeritus board member of Good Samaritan Family Resource Center – an organization that has a partnership with a Planned Parenthood affiliate that is also a member of the NAF – a trade group for abortionists.

In his United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary Questionnaire for Judicial Nominees, Daleiden observes Orrick stated that he advised Good Samaritan Family Resource Center when it was unionized and also assisted the organization with multiple legal issues from 1986 to 2009.

“Toward the end of his leadership tenure, Judge Orrick participated in the Center inviting in, embedding, and housing, a new Planned Parenthood clinic – actually inside their headquarters in San Francisco,” Daleiden said during the press call. “That clinic is still operational to this day. It’s run by Planned Parenthood of Northern California … one of the affiliates that had a contract with the company StemExpress.”

Additionally, Daleiden says Orrick and his wife have given major financial support to the partnership between Good Samaritan and the Planned Parenthood affiliate. Orrick’s wife has posted public comments on social media – along with a photo of herself and her husband – that are supportive of Planned Parenthood and critical of CMP, Daleiden adds.

Regarding Orrick’s gag order, the journalist notes that his video work is especially relevant now, since the Department of Justice has recently launched an investigation into Planned Parenthood and its fetal tissue practices.

Peter Breen, special counsel with the Thomas More Society – which represents Daleiden – said on the press call that the petition is extremely significant and explains why they are filing it after discovering Orrick’s association with Good Samaritan and Planned Parenthood.

“There was no disclosure of this conflict or potential conflict by the judge to the parties and the public – which is the normal way you would deal with this in any other litigation,” he said. “It’s even worse here, though, where the litigation is so important to the national policy and policy-making on this issue of fetal tissue.”

Breitbart News reached out to Amy Bomse from the law firm Arnold & Porter – which represents Planned Parenthood – and NAF attorney Derek Foran, of the firm Morrison & Foerster, requesting comment on why they would continue to desire to have Orrick as the judge on these cases, given what appears to be his longstanding professional history with one of the plaintiffs – a situation that could potentially cloud his objectivity.

Neither attorney responded to the request for comment.


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