Politics

California Shamelessly Persecutes Pro-Life Journalists

from – National Review – by David French

It’s becoming increasingly clear that in the state of California, the right to abort a child is the chief liberty in the land, and all other liberties must bow before it. Few things illustrate this sad and morbid truth more than the decision of the California attorney general to prosecute (or, more accurately, persecute) David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt.

Yesterday California charged Daleiden and Merrit with a whopping 15 felony counts based on their undercover videos — released through the Center for Medical Progress — showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing, among other things, harvesting and possibly even selling the organs of aborted babies. The heart of the indictment (14 of the 15 counts) is the claim that Daleiden and Merritt wrongly recorded alleged “confidential communications” between complete strangers at public conferences and at public restaurants.

California’s case not only fails on the merits, it reeks of selective prosecution. There is no shortage of examples of concealed-camera videos in California exposing scandalous behavior (the Federalist’s Sean Davis has been tweeting them since the indictment), often in the arena of animal rights. In 2014, a group called Mercy for Animals released an undercover video that “allegedly show[ed] widespread animal abuse and cruelty at one of California’s largest duck farms.” Authorities reportedly responded to the video — by investigating the farm.

In 2015, the same group released yet another undercover video, this time exposing “apparent mistreatment of chickens at a Foster Farms poultry slaughterhouse in Fresno and at three poultry farms in Fresno County.” Once again, authorities responded — once again by investigating the farm.

But the lives and deaths of chickens and ducks rate higher than the lives and deaths of human babies in the womb, so the Center for Medical Progress triggered an entirely different law-enforcement reaction. Pro-life journalists must be prosecuted.

Yet even if you divorce the case from its damning context, California’s case is hardly airtight. In fact, there’s a California case explicitly holding that state criminal law does not apply to undercover journalist recordings nearly identical to Daleiden’s. In Wilkins v. National Broadcasting Company, the victims of an undercover Dateline NBC sting sued NBC, alleging (among other things) that it violated California Penal Code Section 632 (the exact provision at issue in Daleiden’s case) when it taped a lunch meeting at a restaurant with a company salesperson. The court ruled for NBC, holding that the lunch meeting wasn’t a “confidential communication”:

[NBC producers] Cloherty and Surles were virtual strangers to [company representatives] Wilkins and Scott, and the two people who accompanied them were total strangers, about whom Wilkins and Scott never inquired. Moreover, the topic of the lunch was SimTel’s business and Wilkins gave a sales pitch he had given to many others. Waiters frequently came to the table, but Wilkins did not acknowledge them, pause in his sales pitch, or even lower his voice.

Since the Wilkins case, the California Supreme Court slightly expanded the definition of “confidential communication” under the statute, but a quick survey of the relevant cases shows that it is difficult for even civil plaintiffs to prove that they had an “objectively reasonable expectation of privacy” in public locations.

And make no mistake, the conversations at issue took place at public locations, including multiple restaurants and the 2014 National Abortion Federation conference. While the NAF sought to keep the contents of the conference itself confidential, it strains credulity that therefore every conversation at that conference was a “confidential communication” under California law.

Indeed, when combining the facts of the case with California’s apparently selective prosecution, the state’s conduct raises serious First Amendment concerns. It’s true that the Constitution doesn’t empower reporters to break the law with impunity, but it’s also true that prosecutors don’t have a free hand to prosecute journalists they dislike while giving a free pass to reporters they deem sufficiently sympathetic. Prosecutorial discretion is a powerful weapon, and California is wielding it against life and for the abortion lobby.

Fairness and law notwithstanding, Daleiden is clearly in for the fight of his legal life. California’s entire political establishment is growing ever-more repressive against people of faith and the pro-life movement. In close cases it may be difficult to find a sympathetic judge. Even here, with solid precedent on Daleiden’s side and a First Amendment that should tip the scales in his favor even further, progressive judges may be tempted to punish Planned Parenthood’s worst journalistic enemy.

Big Abortion holds the Democratic party in a vise grip, and it now may use that power to send a man to prison for embarrassing the nation’s largest abortion provider. Two young journalists may pay a steep price for doing work that the Left admires — at least when reporters are protecting ducks and chickens. But babies in the womb? They only have the right to die.


If You Enjoy Articles Like This - Subscribe to the AMAC Daily Newsletter
and Download the AMAC News App

Sign Up Today Download

If You Enjoy Articles Like This - Subscribe to the AMAC Daily Newsletter!


Subscribe
Notify of
37 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Michael Millikan
5 years ago

1) $19 trillion spending deficit.

2) $200 trillion unfunded liabilities.

3) 1.6 million pages of laws, regulations, unfunded mandates and executive orders during the George W Bush and Obama administrations.

4) Continuous undeclared war since 2001.

5) 3 thousand page Constitution as “interpreted” by SCOTUS versus the 7 thousand word “People’s Constitution” (including the 27 amendments).

6) 59 million slaughtered unborn babies because five old men on SCOTUS interpreted a fictitious constitutional right to privacy.

7) Our Mothers, Wives, and Daughters now have to worry about rapists, perverts, and pedophiles in their public restrooms because of executive orders and judicial activism.

8) One more progressive sitting on SCOTUS and we can kiss our 2nd Amendment rights away along with most of our 1st Amendment rights.

9) Much worse tyranny to come if the Federal Government is allowed to continue to ignore the “Peoples Constitution.”

California no doubt approves of each line item! But for most states, it is far past time that “we the people” enforce our 9th and 10th Amendment rights, and take back the power that our outlaw, runaway federal government has usurped. Fortunately, our founding fathers foresaw this exact need and gifted us with the solution called a Convention of States. A Convention of States is a convention called by the state legislatures for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution. The states are given this power under Article V of the Constitution. Don’t worry, a convention of States is not a constitutional convention. It cannot throw out the Constitution because its authority is derived from the Constitution.

Convention of States Action, a Project of Citizens for Self-Governance, is active in all 50 states helping to
ensure that an Article V Convention of States will become a reality in the near future. To learn more about our project visit our website at:

http://www.cosaction.com/?recruiter_id=1501881

If you like what you see, you may want to sign our online petition and become a volunteer helping to save the Constitution by using the Constitution and preserve our liberties. Because we owe it to our children and grandchildren.

Laurie Hackett
5 years ago

Many Americans have been mislead by the school system, mainstream media and politicians, that they don’t know the history of the Founding Fathers or their intent. Abortion is unconscionable. Let’s keep our Constitution as our Founders intended! Learn more and sign the petition at http://www.conventionofstates.com

Don Sutton
5 years ago

Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. What part don’t you get Californians? As a person from the east coast (New Jersey), I find the two coasts to be another country as compared to the Heartland. I have met numerous people, those with small children in particular, that are moving back to the heartland where they share the values of their neighbors. A century of “progress” has left us with a Country the Founders would not recognize. The way back is via a conventionofstates.com.

http://www.cosaction.com/?recruiter_id=246073

Michael House
5 years ago

California is a microcosm – albeit a MASSIVE one – of what happens when too much power is concentrated into too few hands. The rich get richer (logically, as corruption increases), and the poor get poorer (ironically, as it turns out). Just as the U.S. needs a Convention of States to reduce the bloated might of the federal government, California needs its own structural reforms to return power and responsibility to its communities and its people. Human liberty is incredibly powerful, and without it we cannot achieve real human progress – another irony, given the false claims and empty promises of so-called “progressives.”

Lynette M
5 years ago

Kill the messenger, lie to people and tell them these were edited videos when they can see the full version. Most will not even watch. Undercover work used to reveal the planned parenthood (a private company funding the politicians) to receive money that goes for all testing that is used in an abortion. Curiously they refuse the women to see a ultrasound. Science deniers. The Supreme Court writes law like all unconstitutional Supreme Court decisions that were based on a lie by the progressive party. The solution to unconstitutional laws. Learn the solutions as big as the problem be part of self governance @ conventionofstates.com

Karen
5 years ago

Time to THROW-out California FROM THE UNION. We don’t need their sick agenda. We can include New York also.

Fredrick Yerrick
5 years ago

Born and raised in the Mid-west, my values were much different than those I have witnessed in my past 8 short years in California. Many Californians have the memory and understanding of President Reagan though they remain silent around the Political Correct crowd found in many social circles. As a child I heard, “As California goes, so goes the Nation”. I found this to be understandable in my youth and scary as a Senior. I do not blame California as much as I do, “We the People” of these United States. Our Founding Fathers were men with a well round education steeped in History. They gave us a tool to be used in California and the other 49 States which is in Article V of our Constitution. I have been an active Volunteer for our Convention of States Project for the past 3 years. My education, that the Citizens of California and America have given me, is everlasting and will accompany forever. Last weekend I witnessed Citizens in our Central Valley almost begging others to get involved and take a stand before it is to late for California and this great Nation. I do not beg but only request your consideration. Please visit us at conventionofstates.com or me at [email protected] and allow us to show you this beautiful gift that our founders gave us. Doctor Benjamin Franklin was asked what we have here at the end of the Constitutional Convention. His reply, “A Constitutional Republic if you can maintain her”! We have not done our job to well in California or America so please join us in becoming “Enlightened & Engaged Citizens”! We thank you.

Carol
5 years ago

California ,My home state has been taken over buy a very Morbid Bunch of Idiots with a Diseased state of mind Running it They are Democraps And Numb Nuts Brown is their Leader . When I was in school I had a History Teacher tell me Communist are hear and some day they would invade our Government and take over our schools and she was absolutely RIGHT!!

Carol Menges
5 years ago

“But babies in the womb? They only have the right to die.”

Babies don’t even have *that* right. They have no rights at all under our sick federal system. They are completely at the mercy of their biological and/or surrogate parents as to whether they get to live *or* to die. We are so much like ancient civilizations who thought they, also, could go off on their own and disregard God and his laws. Our nation is a divinely established entity and our ignoring what George Washington and the other Founding Fathers understood in order to remake the nation in our own image is an evil deserving of the most horrendous of divine retribution. We are so desperately in need, “under the provisions of Article V of the Constitution of the United States, for the calling of a convention of the states limited to proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United States that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials
and for members of Congress.” http://www.conventionofstates.com/citizens_toolkit

Fire Storm
5 years ago

Now that is a travesty, regardless that he did secretly recorded someone without their permission, it did have the desire effect of exposing criminal activities involving illegal organ trafficking, so wouldn’t that fall under the category of a whistle blower rights to report corruption?…it’s bizarre… The criminals has more rights than the common law abiding citizens who wants a better country, a safer and prosperous future for their children….

Dm Stewart
5 years ago

Yet another example of why we can’t ever play nice with evil. Evil should fear good. It doesn’t because good treats evil the same as it treats good.
The results is always the same finalizing in cataclysmic explosions where the good and the evil suffer equally.

Hank
5 years ago

Anti-parenthood clinics are killers. How do you protect yourself from killers?

Gullever
5 years ago

Two words say it all: “It’s California”. I went there once about 25 years ago. Now I will not even try to get too close to the state line.

Sheila
5 years ago
Reply to  Gullever

Gullever

I also was there once in 1993 and really love it. Now I would never go back.

John B
5 years ago

California has been going downhill steadily. You’re going to see an Obama like state here right after the next election. And illegals – Please! They don’t have the guts to send them back and hurt their feelings while paying them with our tax money,

Rik
5 years ago

What? … You expected sanity from the insane? … and I live in this God forsaken state! … and yes, I do believe God has forsaken us. “We the People” have become lazy and stupid to have allowed this to happen. I fear it will take guns, violence and revolution to right the many wrongs that are now controlling our society. Khrushchev bellowed that “We will bury you” when he pounded that table with his shoe at the UN all those years ago. We all laughed then, but we’re not laughing anymore. They have infiltrated our schools with teachers indoctrinating our children with “Democratic Socialism”, err, Communism. They have taken over most of our media outlets to control exactly what news we hear. They have infiltrated both political parties and especially the Democratic Party and are in process to takeover the Republican Party as well. We Conservatives, probably need to split away and form a separate Patriotic American Party or better yet, how about the American Constitutional Party. We MUST EDUCATE the people on the “true” meaning of the interpretation of the Constitution by our founding fathers. Our judicial system has been widely perverted with Communist judges to “protect” Communist philosophy as you now see with the California AG now prosecuting truthful whistleblowers. God help us, because we certainly don’t seem to be able to help ourselves. Oh, wait a minute, WE HAVE, that’s why we’re exactly where we are today! … Keep your ammunition dry, people.

Trap
5 years ago
Reply to  Rik

IMO we have “forsaken God”, we have allowed God to be ridiculed, taken from our very lives. God will help those who help themselves and we are NOT doing that. JMO

God gives us the abilities, knowledge, strength etc to see what is wrong and fix it. seems like most have decided to sit back and complain that it is God’s fault. IMO it is our fault for not using the abilities he gave us. we have let the bad folks take and take and take. As I said yesterday bad things happen when good people do nothing.

God Bless America (Maybe I should start saying “America Bless God”
Trap

James D. Mele
5 years ago
Reply to  Trap

Trap you nailed it! Time for the Sheeple to rise up against all enemies foreign and especially domestic who wish to change the moral character of our country.

PaulE
5 years ago
Reply to  Trap

Exactly! It is NOT God’s fault that we have the country that exists today. It is OUR fault (the collective majority of American citizens) that chose to do NOTHING each and every time the left introduced one socialist policy after another over the decades, God gave us the ability to think and reason in order to make hopefully informed, intelligent decisions to better ourselves. Not simply so we could throw up our hands and say woe is me if God doesn’t step in and save us from our apathy and indifference. Most Americans simply decided that the only thing they would do is grumble a little bit, shrug their collective shoulders and then meekly accept whatever the latest “nudge” to the left was for decades. Real action like either large-scale civil protests or even doing something simple like voting DO NOTHING incumbents out during the primary process and replacing them with more constitutionally conservative candidates for the general election (at all levels of government) to protect their own self interests were rare events. Until most Americans decide they really want to save this nation, by getting engaged and doing something about it, things will only continue to deteriorate until the nation itself is completely changed for the worse.

Sandy Mittelstaedt
5 years ago
Reply to  Rik

You’re right!! God help us because He is the only answer. We’ve allowed God to be removed from all walks of life. Even in the Bible, it states some people will NEVER believe so we need to just walk away from them. Good-bye to the West coast, Chicago, New York, and D.C.

PaulE
5 years ago

So your solution is to simply surrender over 300 cities throughout the United States to Socialists / Communists? What happens when all those enclaves decide they can’t sustain themselves and decide to spread out to the rest of the country surrounding them in order to take what they need? Are you still going to advocate that we continue to ignore the problem?

Trap
5 years ago

Sandy, walking away IMO is doing what we have been doing, nothing. Also it is what the left wants, us on the run. instead of walking away we need to walk towards them with a mission, with the belief in and strength from God. if we are, and many will be, made fun of, hurt etc it is just what needs to be done. Stand tall and be proud to be a believer. vote for God. I know it is not easy as I know people of belief, that swear they believe in God, against abortion, same sex marriage etc but voted for obamma and killery. their reason, dems care more about people then Republicans do. I am not lying as one is my wifes sister and the other her husband, both live in Sacramento Ca. how people can be this stupid is beyond me. my wife just goes nuts and I refuse to deal with them. JMO

God Bless America
Trap

John Schoepf
5 years ago

This is NOT an issue that the Government should have it’s nose into, ether pro or con. It’s none of the Governments business, and should be decided by the parents, and their God. As the saying goes, I already have more Government than I care to pay for. This is one of many things they shouldn’t be fooling with.

Larry Collins
5 years ago

I TOTALLY agree with what you’ve written. Well stated and factual. Thank you for GOOD journalism!

PaulE
5 years ago

Given how far left California’s courts have become, I see this as yet another case that will be appealed to the SC after Gorsuch is seated after these two people are wrongfully convicted.

Martin
5 years ago

Strange California is a Sanctuary State for Illegals, but not for the unborn.

Fredrick Yerrick
5 years ago

Article V Part 2
“Enlightened Citizens” are needed to save our Republic and this is accomplished by education not fear. Our Founding Fathers gave us the process in Part 2 of Article V;

Amendment Process #2 of Article V

1. 34 states submit applications for the same issue

2 Congress is required to call the convention

3. Commissioners debate, propose, and vote upon possible amendments

4. Proposed amendments are sent to the states for ratifications 5. If 38 states ratify, the proposed amendments become part of the Constitution

Please join us at conventionofstates.com and cosaction.com. We thank you!

James D. Mele
5 years ago

Nice thought Fredrick,but a convention of states leaves the door open for people like Soros and Obama to use their money and influence to buy a communist version of our Constitution. They have done enough damage to the Constitution already.

Ivan Berry
5 years ago
Reply to  James D. Mele

Agreed, James.

Ivan Berry
5 years ago

Note: 1. Art. V states,”…shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments.” There is no restriction placed to make them “for the same issue”
2. Yes, that is true when 2/3rds of the States apply
3. He calls attendees Commissioners, thus, empying atthority. The preferred title would more often be Delegates who would vote to propose only.
4. Left out is that the ratification can be obtained either through the Legislatures or a Convention in each State.
5. True, 3/4s of the States make the determination.

37
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x