I’ve been following two (of eight) Freedom of Access to Clinics Act cases brought by Obama’s Department of Justice against pro-life activists.
There is good news to report on one and bad on another.
District court judges in both lawsuits had ruled against the DOJ, and the ball was in the DOJ’s court.
As part of the settlement, the government agreed to drop all charges with prejudice, meaning they can never be filed again.
The agreement is an astounding capitulation by the Justice Department, which had assigned five federal prosecutors to go after Ken Scott, a pro-life advocate, for passing out information outside of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Denver.
Meanwhile, the DOJ will continue to harass pro-lifer Mary Susan Pine. Recall the court all but accused the DOJ of setting Pine up. Yet the DOJ is undeterred. Acording to Liberty Counsel, which is representing Pine:
After being thrown out of federal court and chastised for filing a case with no evidence, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is back for more. He has filed an appeal in Holder v. Pine, a political prosecution of a pro-life educator.
Holder unsuccessfully sought thousands of dollars in fines against Susan Pine, as well as a permanent injunction banning her from counseling women on the public sidewalk outside the Presidential Women’s Center abortion clinic [in West Palm Beach, Florida].
Without any evidence, Holder accused Pine of obstructing the entrance to an abortion clinic in violation of FACE. Federal Judge Kenneth L. Ryskamp dismissed Holder’s lawsuit because of a complete failure to present any evidence of wrongdoing. This, coupled with the DOJ’s cozy relationship with PWC and their joint failure to preserve video surveillance footage of the alleged act, caused Judge Ryskamp to suspect a conspiracy at the highest level of the Obama Administration. He wrote, “The Court can only wonder whether this action was the product of a concerted effort between the Government and PWC, which began well before the date of the incident at issue, to quell Ms. Pine’s activities rather than to vindicate the rights of those allegedly aggrieved by Ms. Pine’s conduct.”
Liberty Counsel has now asked Judge Ryskamp to award Pine approximately $140,000 in attorney’s fees and costs for having to defend herself against Holder’s political lawsuit.