Tag Archives: Liberty Counsel

Obama administration’s harassment of pro-lifers gets personal

On July 13 FBI agents Conrad Rodriguez and William Sivley paid a visit to my son-in-law, Andy Moore, at his home.

Andy is a pro-life activist who prays and protests outside the Southwestern Women’s Surgery Center abortion mill in Dallas, where late-term abortionist Curtis Boyd freely acknowledges he “kill[s]” children.

Agents Rodriguez and Sivley told Andy three red flags prompted their visit:

  1. His use of a megaphone outside the mill, a one-time event on March 31, which he stopped and never repeated after police told him he was violating a noise ordinance.
  2. A complaint by the clinic manager that Andy trespassed, which he did not. There was no evidence, yet police gave Andy a warning: “I asked the officer multiple times, ‘Why are you giving me this warning, as I did not trespass?’ All he would tell me was, ‘I’m giving you this warning.’ He did not answer my question.”
  3. Unsubstantiated complaints that Andy may be too aggressive. “One of the agents told me it is acceptable to be aggressive, however there is a line. He gave examples of things which would cross the line, such as making threats of violence, or obstructing vehicle access – violations of the FACE act. I told him in no uncertain terms that I had never done anything like this and had not considered anything like this either.”

Obviously, the charges rose to the level of nada to begin with, certainly not above local law enforcement’s pay grade. Thankfully, Andy videotaped his one and only foray into megaphoning, which was clearly tame and polite:

YouTube Preview Image

But the FBI used these as an excuse to knock on the door, nerve-wracking to begin with, and followed by asking totally inappropriate questions clearly aimed at intimidating Andy, while also launching into a  fishing expedition about me. Per Andy and my daughter, who was home at the time,  here were questions the agents asked:

  • What affiliations do you have including church groups?
  • How long have you known your wife?
  • What belief system makes you believe in your cause?
  • What is your goal in protesting?
  • Do you know why people would make complaints against you?
  • Are there friends of yours or people you’re connected with that you could confidentially tell us are aggressive or abrasive? “Don’t be afraid to tell us.”
  • Are you involved in activism in Austin, since we noticed some entries on abortionwiki?
  • They were REALLY interested in the connection to Jill Stanek – details of internship, New Zealand speaking tour visit, did you get your activist and pro-life ideas from her? Did she train or teach you? Did you meet Jill before or after you became involved in the movement? Was it Jill who “fired you up” to become so active in the movement?
  • They were overly nice saying he wasn’t in trouble and feel free to tell us anything. Encouraged him to keep going back out there, that they represent both sides. ++they are protecting his freedom of speech++ is what they kept saying.
  • They said their task force that deals with these abortion cases also handles Hate Crimes and White Supremacy. Odd grouping with pro-lifers.
  • They knew he was an immigrant.  They said a felony on his record could/would get him deported. “You wouldn’t want to be apart from your wife and newborn.”

Life Legal Defense Fund, one of the pro-life legal firms that has successfully defended pro-lifers against prosecution by Obama’s Department of Justice, has now taken Andy under its wing. Senior Staff Counsel, Allison Aranda, shared her insights in an email:

The Obama administration is essentially engaging in a witch hunt.  From the moment the new administration took office, the DOJ has been targeting peaceful pro-life sidewalk counselors.  They have come out guns blazing on several occasions often bringing allegations that could later not be substantiated or in some cases clearly proven to be false.  Their weapon of choice – the FACE act.  The DOJ is using tactics that amount to legal extortion.  They have filed these frivolous claims against innocent people who don’t have the finances to hire big shot attorneys.  The DOJ then kindly offers to settle the case if the counselor simply agrees to stay so many yards away and pay a couple thousand dollar fine.

Pro-bono legal foundations like LLDF, Alliance Defending Freedom, and Liberty Counsel have taken a stand to defend these innocent pro-lifers.  Thankfully the sidewalk counselors have either had witnesses or video evidence to defend their actions.  The DOJ has outright dismissed charges in two cases, walking away with egg on their face.  In one case, a federal court judge issued a scathing opinion questioning the motives of the DOJ for bringing such unsubstantiated charges in the first place.  The judge suggested that there might have been a conspiracy between the government and the abortion clinic to violate the free speech rights of the pro-life advocates.

It now seems that the unscrupulous Eric Holder is at it again.  This time when the government determined that the evidence wasn’t quite what they thought it would be to proceed on a FACE claim against Andy, they turned their intimidating interrogation into a fishing expedition about the personal life of Jill Stanek.  Targeted bullying by our government because of an individual’s viewpoint and willingness to share that message in the public square is intolerable.  LLDF is committed to aggressively defending the rights of pro-life advocates.  We will not back down, and we will not be threatened.  We will continue to fight so that the freedoms of all are protected and preserved.

It stands to reason that the Obama administration would be interested in me.  This has probably been a long time coming.  But to reiterate Allison’s point, we will not back down, and we will not be threatened.

DOJ drops Obama-ordered appeal against pro-life activist, will pay $120,00 legal expenses

I wrote last week that while President Obama’s Department of Justice decided not to appeal a court decision rejecting its Freedom of Access to Clinics Act lawsuit against Colorado pro-life activist Kenneth Scott, it was doubling down and appealing another adverse court decision in its case against Mary Susan Pine (pictured right) in Florida.

Well, good news comes today from Pine’s legal representation, Liberty Counsel, with very interesting tidbits, underlined:

The Department of Justice has dropped its appeal in Holder v. Pine against pro-life sidewalk counselor Mary “Susan” Pine, who is represented by Liberty Counsel. The DOJ has agreed to pay $120,000 for this improper lawsuit. The DOJ had 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.

After 18 months of litigation, the DOJ’s case was thrown out of federal court, and the department was chastised for filing a case with no evidence. Federal Judge Kenneth L. Ryskamp stated that Holder’s complete failure to present any evidence of wrongdoing, coupled with the DOJ’s cozy relationship with PWC and their joint failure to preserve video surveillance footage of the alleged “obstruction,” caused the court to suspect a conspiracy at the highest level of the Obama Administration. “The Court is at a loss as to why the Government chose to prosecute this particular case in the first place,” wrote Judge Ryskamp. “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.”

After this ruling the DOJ appealed on the last day possible and gave indication that President Obama ordered the appeal.

Pine also wrote in an email that the DOJ dropped the charges against her with prejudice, as it did with Scott, it cannot regurgitate this case against her again.

The news for these two pro-life stalwarts is great, although six similar lawsuits remain live.

But, wow, what is it that makes Barack Obama so obsessed with abortion?

These attempts to shut down the pro-life movement serve as more reminders how much of the people’s money and resources the Obama administration is willing to wantonly expend to make abortion as easily attainable as possible.

[Picture via Liberty Counsel]

Obama DOJ drops one FACE lawsuit, doubles down on another

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.

In its lawsuit against Kenneth Scott, the DOJ decided to fold. Recall all those videotapes the DOJ submitted as evidence against Scott that actually vindicated him. Reported WND.com on March 22:

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.

Weekend question

weekend question.jpgLiberty Counsel has published its “Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign ‘Naughty & Nice List'” of national merchants that do and don’t acknowledge the premiere holiday this season, CHRISTmas.
CNS News reports stores are getting in the Christmas spirit again, after a low point 4 years ago…

Continue reading