The anti-abortion activist whose targeting of Planned Parenthood got him an indictment in Harris County is asking a court to let him publish more sting videos.
The request to the California-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, filed by the Thomas More Society on behalf of activist David Daleiden, asked for the reversal of an injunction barring the publication of more videos. It argues that the injunction is an unconstitutional “prior restraint” on free speech and that the undercover videos targeting Planned Parenthood and its handling of fetal tissue are of significant public interest.
The appeal argues that the videos have shown Planned Parenthood is willing to engage in criminal behavior and noted that already-released footage has sparked multiple state and federal regulations.
“Courts have rejected interests far more compelling than those asserted by (the National Abortion Federation) as insufficient to justify a prior restraint on speech — including the publication of the Pentagon Papers, at grave risk to American national security and the lives of American troops,” the appeal states.
The temporary injunction was issued last August by a federal judge in California in response to a lawsuit by the National Abortion Federation. That judge found the abortion group “would be likely to suffer irreparable injury in the form of harassment, intimidation, violence, invasion of privacy, and injury to reputation,” according to court documents.
The appeal is the latest of a legal fight that has included the indictment of Daleiden and a fellow undercover videographer by a Harris County grand jury for allegedly tampering with governmental records. The indictments stemmed from an undercover video the pair published from a visit to a Houston Planned Parenthood facility.
This article was published in the Houston Chronicle April 26, 2016.