National Partnership for Women & Families

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SCOTUS Rejects CMP's Appeal To Block Discovery Order

SCOTUS Rejects CMP's Appeal To Block Discovery Order

December 7, 2015 — The Supreme Court on Friday rejected an appeal from David Daleiden, head of the Center for Medical Progress, attempting to block a lower court order to turn over the names of those who donated to the organization, the Los Angeles Times reports (Savage, Los Angeles Times, 12/4).

Background

Earlier this year, Judge William Orrick of the Northern District of California issued a temporary restraining order against CMP after NAF filed a lawsuit against the organization. The order blocked CMP from releasing any of its secretly recorded video footage of NAF's annual meetings in 2014 and 2015, as well as from releasing dates of NAF's future meetings and the names and addresses of NAF members.

Separately, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee issued a subpoena to obtain the footage, as well as footage CMP secretly recorded of Planned Parenthood officials.

Oversight Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said members and staff would view the subpoenaed material privately and the material would not be made public "out of an abundance of caution to ensure the safety and security of all individuals recorded." However, the editor of a conservative website obtained the footage from an unidentified source and posted it online.

Following the leak, Orrick in November granted NAF's request that Daleiden provide "all originals and copies of material covered by the [temporary restraining order] to outside counsel for CMP for safekeeping." In addition, Orrick said CMP must disclose the names of individuals and organizations that have been made privy to the confidential NAF footage.

In November, Orrick rejected Daleiden's First Amendment arguments against disclosing the requested names (Women's Health Policy Report, 11/25). Last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an appeal from Daleiden to block Orrick's order. Daleiden had until midnight on Friday, Dec. 4, to comply with the order.

Latest Developments

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on Friday rejected Daleiden's appeal, filed by attorney James Bopp Jr., to block the discovery order.

According to the Times, Kennedy rejected the argument that Daleiden was a citizen journalist who could protect the confidentiality of his sources (Los Angeles Times, 12/4). Kennedy also rejected CMP's argument that releasing a list of supporters would violate the First Amendment's freedom of association and would put CMP supporters at risk (Haberkorn, Politico, 12/4).