Sandra Merritt, an employee of the Center for Medical Progress, just appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals because the prevailing Judge in the lower court violated her first amendment rights. With a biased court ruling in 2019, the judge strong-armed the video evidence from Center for Medical Progress employee Sandra Merritt showing Planned Parenthood trafficked baby parts, causing a not guilty verdict for Planned Parenthood, Liberty Counsel reports.
The lower court ruled a journalist acting in her profession violated measures specifically designed to protect her actions when she filmed Planned Parenthood Executives lightheartedly celebrating a deal to make hundreds of thousands of dollars off babies they had aborted.
Because the Judge banned the video as evidence, the jury had no choice but to claim Merritt, and not the Planned Parenthood executives, spoke the original words, which violates the law. Additionally, the Judge awarded Planned Parenthood millions of dollars in “damages” despite the executives’ self-incriminating statements in the videos.
Inside the videos, Planned Parenthood executives haggled over the price of the baby parts and also discussed how they would change the abortion procedures to “crush” less of the baby to make a profit selling the baby parts. The executives spoke with Merritt in public places, such as restaurants, parties, and other public meeting places. This directly opposes the Judge’s ruling that the conversations took place in “private.”
Liberty Counsel filed a brief stating the blatantly unconstitutional ruling violated not only the First Amendment but also the RICO Laws, which apply to organized crime, not non-profits, and only for racketeering, not filmography.
Additionally, Liberty Counsel demands in the brief that the judge recuse himself for business dealings to Planned Parenthood. The judge owns a building housing a Planned Parenthood complex, which presents a conflict of interest in the case. When asked to recuse himself for the conflict of interest, the judge refused.
Liberty Counsel Founder Mat Staver said in a press release “The record of errors now before the Court of Appeals demands that the unjust result be set aside. Sandra did nothing wrong. She only revealed the truth of what the abortion giant is doing to precious unborn children.”
A 16-million-dollar payout is at stake in the lawsuit, including 14 million dollars in Planned Parenthood’s attorney costs an additional 2 million dollars in “damages.” If the Appeals Court sides with Merritt, she pays nothing to Planned Parenthood.
– John Paluska, CNJ Staff