If you wonder how much damage a Presidential putz like Barack Obama can do to the nation, you have only to look at the case of Federal District Judge William H. Orrick III of the Northern District of California in San Francisco. Orrick III was a 2013 Obama appointee.
This is also the clown who ruled against investigative reporting in the case of The National Abortion Federation versus the Center for Medical Progress by issuing a preliminary injunction barring the anti-abortion group from releasing undercover videos taken at annual conferences of the National Abortion Federation.
Orrick III ruled the Center’s First Amendment interest in releasing the videos was outweighed by the National Abortion Federation’s right to privacy, security and association.
Apparently, Federal Judges appointed by Obama are now allowed to reinterpret the First Amendment to the Constitution when hallowed causes are involved.
If the Center had been, say, the New York Times publishing, say, the Pentagon Papers, then presumably Orrick III would have been more lenient in his interpretation, given the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in that case.
Fortunately for most of us, Orrick is swinging the barn door shut after most of the thoroughbreds have escaped and many of the videos are all over the internet, which leaves us with a case of ‘who do you believe? The baby killers’ trade association or your lying eyes?’
Orrick said representatives for the Center for Medical Progress had used false identification and set up a phony corporation to gain access to meetings of the National Abortion Federation. Surreptitious videos taken at the meetings violated confidentiality agreements the officials had signed to gain access to the meetings, Orrick said. Those confidentiality agreements provided for injunctive relief in the event of a breach.
Of course, selling body parts of dead babies which were custom aborted to preserve the parts do NOT qualify for injunctive relief.
Orrick also disagreed that the Center had used widely accepted investigatory journalism techniques. The group’s projects “thus far have not been pieces of journalistic integrity, but misleadingly edited videos and unfounded assertions (at least with respect to the NAF materials) of criminal misconduct.”
The problem here is that CBS News just used the same techniques to look at lawyers who would set up money laundering operations, and nobody even went to the courthouse.
In the immortal words of Chief Justice John Roberts—with whom we occasionally disagree—the job of a Judge is to call “balls and strikes and not to pitch or bat.”
Judge Orrick III is definitely in there pitching—from far left field—and that, more than anything, is why he’s wrong.
Constitutional Law 101 teaches a 1971 case called New York Times Co. v. United States, a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court on the First Amendment. The ruling made it possible for the New York Times and Washington Post newspapers to publish the then-classified Pentagon Papers without risk of government censorship or punishment.
Ironically, the New York Times had been enjoined by a federal judge pitching for the right from publishing further excerpts of the Pentagon Papers.
The Supremes—which tilted a little left back then—said that the First Amendment means exactly what it says.
Why Orrick III is choosing to re-litigate this issue while pitching for the left is beyond me.
If Roe v. Wade is settled law, surely the First Amendment and freedom of the press is also settled law.
Yet we still have a Judge on the bench who tilts so far to the left that he is willing to simply serve as the handmaiden to the baby-killing industry.
He can rail against the anti-abortion groups all he wants, but government censorship—of anything that happens to be true or even arguable—is going so far that it should put a Federal jurist in line for impeachment.