“If anyone tells you that you cannot legislate morality, remember that legislation IS morality.” – Jay Sekulow
Petition on behalf of Troy Newman challenges a gag order that bars the release of undercover videos filmed at NAF meetings to law enforcement even if they contain evidence of crimes.
A petition was filed last week with the U.S. Supreme Court by Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) on behalf of Troy Newman, who is the President of Operation Rescue and a founding board member of the Center for Medical Progress. Sekulow has a very visible public profile as a member of President Donald Trump’s legal team.
Jay Alan Sekulow is an American attorney and Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law & Justice. He also hosts a talk show, which airs on radio and television.
The petition is seeking a full hearing with the Supreme Court in order to challenge the Constitutionality of a preliminary injunction that prohibits the release of undercover videos recorded at National Abortion Federation (NAF) meetings – even to law enforcement when they contain evidence of crimes.
Sekulow leads Newman’s team of attorneys from the ACLJ in battling two Federal Court suits against him that were filed by the NAF and Planned Parenthood in an effort to prevent the release of further secretly recorded videos that uncovered the illegal trade in aborted baby body parts.
The petition, captioned Newman v. National Abortion Federation, states:
This Petition stems from an injunction forbidding the voluntary disclosure to law enforcement agencies, other governmental bodies, and the general public of recordings and other information that the enjoined individuals and entities-as well as Congressional investigators-believe are evidence of widespread criminal, illegal, and unethical conduct, including felonies.
Newman’s original appeal to the Ninth Circuit was joined by state 14 Attorneys General who are seeking to review the evidence contained in the recordings.
Newman’s Supreme Court petition notes that Congressional investigations conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives referred members of the National Abortion Federation and Planned Parenthood to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies for criminal investigation and prosecution.
Sekulow argues on behalf of Newman that the enjoined recordings corroborate the determination of the two Congressional investigations, which found evidence that NAF members (including several Planned Parenthood organizations) were engaged in the following criminal conduct:
* Profiting from the sale of fetal organs;
* Altering abortion procedures for financial gain;
* Performing illegal partial-birth abortions;
* Killing newborns who survived attempted abortions;
* Failing to obtain informed consent for fetal tissue donations;
* Violating federal regulations regarding Institutional Review Boards (IRBs); and
* Fraudulent overbilling practices.
Newman’s petition further states:
It has long been a tenet of Anglo-American jurisprudence that individuals who believe that they have information concerning criminal or illegal activities should be permitted, and encouraged, to voluntarily provide such information to government authorities. Similarly, investigative journalism concerning matters of public concern, including the uncovering of illegal, unethical, or troubling activities, is a constitutionally protected, venerable undertaking.
As part of the most important abortion case currently under litigation, Newman v. NAF could have profound implications on the future use of undercover investigative techniques and the ability of law enforcement to gather evidence in criminal investigations.
[Note: This petition makes significantly different arguments from one also filed by the Center for Medical Progress last week.]