The investigative journalism group that exposed Planned Parenthood's top abortionists casually discussing the harvesting and sale of baby body parts is seeking the disqualification of a judge from hearing the lawsuit abortion groups have brought against them.
The San Francisco judge, William Orrick III, who was appointed by President Obama, has significant ties to the abortion giant, and cannot be trusted to oversee the case impartially, say the attorneys for David Daleiden, president of The Center for Medical Progress.
Daleiden's lawyers filed a petition for a writ of mandamus Wednesday at the Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals seeking Orrick's disqualification from two lawsuits against Daleiden and CMP from the National Abortion Federation and Planned Parenthood Federation of America and many of their affiliates.
"Basically all of Planned Parenthood's advantages or any victories that they have had so far in the past two-and-a-half years are just based on rigging the system," Daleiden told The Christian Post in an interview Wednesday.
"And so this motion on Judge Orrick is our effort to try to unrig the system — that's the only thing that stops up this case up right now."
The petition filing, which CP obtained, explains how Orrick was part of the leadership of and helped incorporate the Good Samaritan Family Resource Center, which houses a still operational Planned Parenthood referral clinic inside their headquarters in San Francisco. Judge Orrick and his wife have been significant financial contributors to the center, which has a joint partnership with Planned Parenthood.
The clinic inside was a part of the network of Planned Parenthood centers in the region that had a contract with biotech company StemExpress, which deals in fetal tissue research, that CMP exposed in its investigation.
The petition also describes how on Facebook Orrick's wife has used her husband's image in support of pro-abortion posts attacking CMP's videos as "domestic terrorism," commentary which cheered a 2016 indictment of Daleiden in Houston, Texas. The charges were thrown out. She did so while her husband, the judge, was adjudicating the same issues in his courtroom in California.
Given the appearance of such overt bias in favor of the abortion giant it is unfair that he should be adjudicating the case, they say.
CMP's undercover investigation in the summer of 2015 highlighted the transactions between the largest abortion provider in the United States and biotech companies procuring fetal organs for research purposes. Daleiden still has damning videos of his investigation that have yet to be released to the public, but because of the twin set of lawsuits brought by Planned Parenthood and NARAL, Judge Orrick has censored him under a gag order forbidding him from publishing the footage.
Despite how many twists and turns this ordeal has taken since 2015 his attorneys are optimistic about their latest move and the future of the case especially in light of recent events.
"We have a very strong case both in terms of the facts and the law," said Charles LiMandri, an attorney with the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, who is co-representing Daleiden along with the Thomas More Law Center, in an interview with The Christian Post.
If he can get the facts of Daleiden's investigation before a jury "we are very confident that we are going to get a good result," LiMandri said, adding that "Planned Parenthood knows they are in serious trouble."
"The public perception against them turned dramatically when these videos were released. And this was desperate ploy to shift the focus and to send a message to the media and everyone else that they are going to punish anybody that tries to bring to light their transgressions."
And this is all changing now that government officials are doing their job, he added.
Last week, the federal government opened an investigation into Planned Parenthood; the Department of Justice wrote to the Senate Judiciary Committee requesting copies of their reports detailing their findings about the transactions between the abortion group and biotech companies.
According to a Dec. 10 Los Angeles Times article, Yorba Linda, California-based biotech companies DV Biologics LLC and sister company DaVinci Biosciences LLC reached a $7.785-million settlement with the district attorney's office in Orange County over allegations that they illegally sold fetal tissue to companies around the world. The companies were ordered close down all operations in the state within 60 to 120 days.
Prosecutors said that the settlement agreement further requires the firms to admit liability for violating state and federal statutes prohibiting the sale or purchase of fetal tissue for research purposes.