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Attorneys from the Thomas More Society have asked the United States Supreme Court to review a decision of the Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals that denied their motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood against pro-life hero David Daleiden. Daleiden is the 29-year-old undercover journalist who exposed Planned Parenthood’s grisly trafficking of aborted babies’ body parts, who now finds himself under attack by Planned Parenthood and much of the abortion industry.

The Thomas More Society is asking the high court to apply California’s Anti-SLAPP statute to dismiss Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit and vindicate young David. The statute gives defendants like David the ability to quickly end Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, known as “SLAPP” lawsuits. 

“Anti-SLAPP statutes prohibit lawsuits that are intended to silence advocates for justice by intimidating them, wearing them out, and bankrupting them until they will abandon their advocacy”, explained Thomas More Society Special Counsel Sarah Pitlyk. “Planned Parenthood’s goals will have been accomplished if either we surrender to intimidation, mounting legal costs, or simple exhaustion and abandon the cause. California and more than 30 other states have anti-SLAPP statutes because SLAPP lawsuits are, by definition, attempts to violate the free speech rights of the Defendants in those lawsuits. Of course, neither we nor David will ever surrender!”

By allowing the lawsuit to proceed,  the Ninth Circuit has exacerbated a widening split of opinion among the Circuits and allowed Planned Parenthood an “end run” around the First Amendment. “The panel of judges on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals who decided this case are out of step with their peers in the First, Fifth, Tenth, and D.C. Circuits,” explained Pitlyk. “Almost a dozen Planned Parenthood affiliates joined together to file a SLAPP lawsuit in an attempt to silence young  David and stifle his First Amendment free speech rights. The Ninth Circuit has erred badly and we’re asking the Supreme Court to decide the issue once and for all and, in doing so, resolve the circuit split in our favor, deliver justice to David, and preserve the free speech rights of all Americans.”

Read the Thomas More Society’s Petition for a Writ of Certiorari, filed November 21, 2018, with the United States Supreme Court in Center for Medical Progress, David Daleiden et al v. Planned Parenthood Federation of America et al here.

About the Thomas More Society

The Thomas More Society is a national not-for-profit law firm dedicated to restoring respect in law for life, family, and religious liberty. Headquartered in Chicago and Omaha, the Thomas More Society fosters support for these causes by providing pro bono legal services from local trial courts all the way up to the United States Supreme Court. For more information, visit thomasmoresociety.org.

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