A conservative watchdog and law firm on Monday were victorious in defending the First Amendment rights of a pro-life activist after he was arrested by police officers in Chicago, Illinois, last April. Pro-life leader Eric Scheidler was found not guilty of criminal trespass charges for his leading a protest against a Planned Parenthood Gala, a fundraising event at Chicago’s Navy Pier.
Scheidler, Executive Director of the Pro-Life Action League, through his Thomas More Society attorneys had claimed that he was arrested a short time after being granted explicit permission to access the pier while Planned Parenthood — a group in the midst of a far-reaching scandal that may mean the loss of federal funding — held their fundraiser.
According to officials for the Thomas More Society, Scheidler’s legal team filed a Petition for Rule to Show Cause, a step on the road to filing a request for the court find Navy Pier in contempt of court. The petition requested that the Cook County Circuit Court issue an order for Navy Pier’s Director of Safety and Security, John Graeber, to show cause for his failure to produce his department’s documents despite a subpoena. The documents were believed to contain important evidence supporting Eric Scheidler’s version of what occurred during the Planned Parenthood event.
The Special Counsel for Thomas More Society, Peter Breen, called Monday’s judicial ruling, “a great win” for Scheidler, Breen and his associate counsel, Corrina Konczal. “People have a right to go on Navy Pier,” Breen asserted. “It’s a public place… and you can’t be excluded because you are protesting an event that is happening there. This was a case of Navy Pier personnel reacting badly to our client because of the First Amendment protected activity he was engaged in, and not because of any actual criminal activity.”Scheidler said that he is really excited to, “Get back to fighting Planned Parenthood on the frontlines, especially in light of all the horrific revelations that have been coming out recently about their business selling baby parts.”
Meanwhile, according to Examiner, Department of Justice officials are being pressured by Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and other Democrat politicians, to launch an investigation of the group that produced undercover videos that graphically showed Planned Parenthood staff members speaking about how they sell organs removed from the lifeless bodies of aborted babies, a number of them as many as 24-weeks old and capable of living without being inside their mothers’ wombs.
While the videos are available to all news media organizations — including the Examiner’s writers — most of the major media are ignoring the details of the videos and concentrating on casting suspicion of those responsible for uncovering a sordid and inhumane practice. “I’ve worked in law enforcement for more than 30-years and if any case deserved an investigation it’s the allegations against Planned Parenthood. But instead of looking into the abortion-providing ‘charity,’ federal law enforcement is focusing their investigation on the undercover journalists who dared to blow the whistle on these obviously calculating, deceptive and politicized people at Planned Parenthood,” said former sex crimes detective Janet Benedetto. who said she is pro-choice “within reason.”