Read more here: http://aclj.org/pro-life/bias-justice-tale-two-cases
This time they’re promoting the recent settlement reached in U.S.A. v. Scott (11-cv-01430). Ms. Scott was accused of placing her hand on a person’s shoulder as she walked alongside the individual on one occasion and tapping a man on the back on another occasion – normal human interaction between individuals communicating while in public. Court documents reveal that the government demanded that Ms. Scott pay $15,000 to vindicate the public interest that was threatened by these two innocent actions. In addition, the government asked that Ms. Scott pay each of the individuals involved a whopping $5,000 for simply being touched. The message the Department of Justice is sending by demanding these exorbitant fines from peaceful sidewalk counselors is clear: if you don’t pay up, we will prosecute you in criminal court and put you in jail. This is government sanctioned extortion and it must stop. Continue to check our website and follow us on Twitter for updates on the other FACE cases. If you want to help LLDF defend people like Ms. Scott, you can make a donation today.
Did you know that the Obama administration convened a meeting of the National Task Force on Violence Against Reproductive Health Care Providers in June 2009? Immediately following that meeting, several peaceful pro-life sidewalk counselors came under federal investigation. In the two years since the task force declared war against the pro-life movement, the Department of Justice has filed eight lawsuits under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, a statistic they touted before the Senate Judiciary Committee last month. The FACE Act is designed to protect patients seeking abortion against threats of physical violence. However, the Obama administration is using the FACE Act to intimidate and bully peaceful sidewalk counselors. A notable example of this intimidation is the recent prosecution of 79 year old Richard Retta in Washington D.C. The recent surge in FACE prosecutions is not about physical safety at all. As Troy Newman, Director of Operation Rescue, recently commented on the threat to sidewalk counselors, “It’s really a political tool to shut them up, shut them down, and make them go away.” LLDF will not let peaceful prolife advocates be silenced. We are working with local attorneys Vincent Heuser and Michael Hirsh to defend the First Amendment right to Free Speech in another FACE case, Holder v. Hamilton. Continue to check our website for updates on the Hamilton and Retta cases.
In January 2010 David Hamilton was peacefully and lawfully handing literature to women entering EMW Surgical Center, an abortion clinic in Louisville, Kentucky. Mr. Hamilton was not only interfered with illegally by clinic volunteers who locked arms to block him, he is now being prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice for assaulting a volunteer—but in actuality—the volunteer assaulted him. The “escort” attempted to forcibly block Mr. Hamilton to prevent him from sharing literature with women entering the clinic, literature that would have offered women real choices, alternatives to abortion.
Over a year after the date of the incident, rather than serving the clinic volunteer with a legal complaint for the illegal conduct, the DOJ served Mr. Hamilton with a legal complaint, alleging that he violated the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE). The DOJ used their resources, funded by the American taxpayer, to track down and serve Mr. Hamilton, although he had moved to Texas permanently only two months after the assault by the “escort.”
“This administration continues to increase the budget deficit by pandering to the abortion lobby, wasting taxpayer monies to hunt down and prosecute the victim rather than the perpetrator. The allegations against Mr. Hamilton are absolutely ridiculous!” states Dana Cody, President and Executive Director of Life Legal Defense Foundation.
Attorneys Michael Hirsh and Vince Heuser, of the law firm of Hirsh and Heuser, are defending Mr. Hamilton, responding to Mr. Hamilton’s prosecution with motions to dismiss and to strike the complaint against him. Life Legal Defense Foundation congratulates Attorneys Hirsh and Heuser for their swift response to the DOJ’s absurd actions and is proud to support the defense of Mr. Hamilton.