The court battle against the Center for Medical Progress and its undercover journalists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt continues, this time with some slightly more positive news. The mixed ruling dropped some — but not all — of the charges against Daleiden and Merritt, who are being dragged through the courts after uncovering Planned Parenthood’s involvement with the alleged sale of aborted baby body parts. The case will go before a jury this fall.
According to Liberty Counsel, the firm representing Merritt, Judge William Orrick ruled that Planned Parenthood lacked “sufficient evidence” for some of the 15 charges filed, including claims of breach of contract, some of its claims for trespass, and for illegal recording in Florida.
“Significantly, the court also ruled that the First Amendment bars Planned Parenthood’s claims for damages alleged to arise from the publication of the undercover videos or the reaction of the public to those videos,” the Liberty Counsel statement said. “This essentially guts Planned Parenthood’s case, as the bulk of its made-up ‘damages’ are alleged to arise from the publication of the videos and from the public’s reaction to them.”
But Planned Parenthood is also accusing Merritt and Daleiden of a Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) charge, which will be part of the jury trial. “Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit is nothing but an attempt to bully and silence the truth about its grisly abortion practice,” Liberty Counsel founder and chairman Mat Staver said. “The Supreme Court has ruled that RICO cannot be used to silence free speech and that is precisely what Planned Parenthood is seeking to accomplish. Planned Parenthood will not succeed.” ….