In a rare show of solidarity, six groups with differing political and ethical views have filed amicus (friend-of-the-court) briefs asking the Ninth Circuit to overturn a jury verdict and multi-million dollar judgment against the pro-lifers who exposed Planned Parenthood’s trafficking in baby parts.
Life Legal filed its opening brief on behalf of former Center for Medical Progress board member Albin Rhomberg on February 26. The amicus briefs filed last Friday serve to amplify and extend the arguments presented in the briefs of Rhomberg and his co-defendants.
The amicus briefs argue that District Court Judge William Orrick erred in his findings throughout the lawsuit and in his instructions to the jury – including his refusal to instruct the jury that costs incurred as a result of lawful First Amendment activity are not recoverable as damages.
Justin Marceau, a law professor at the University of Denver, filed a brief on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Mercy for Animals, and eleven free speech scholars. “Undercover newsgathering and reporting is central to law and policy debates on matters of public concern,” wrote Marceau. “[I]f left standing, the district court’s various decisions on recoverable damages will be a roadmap for investigative subjects to sue journalists, activists, and whistleblowers to chill their undercover investigative work.
Full story at Life Legal Defense Foundation.