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Federal Judge Blocks CMP From Filing Audio Recordings in HB 2 Amicus Brief

February 1, 2016 — A federal judge on Friday refused to grant the antiabortion-rights group Center for Medical Progress permission to submit misleading videos targeting Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation to the Supreme Court in an amicus brief supporting Texas' omnibus antiabortion-rights law (HB 2), Inquisitr reports (Bazzle, Inquisitr, 1/30).

Background

Last 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 blocks 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 (Women's Health Policy Report, 1/26).

CMP sought an exception to the temporary restraining order that would allow the group to file about three hours of audio recordings in an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case, Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt.

Latest Developments

Orrick denied CMP's request for an exception to the temporary restraining order, stating that the group's antiabortion-rights rhetoric is linked to violence against abortion providers.

In his ruling, Orrick wrote, "It is not necessary here to repeat the reasons I issued the [temporary restraining order] in the first place -- the deceitful lengths the defendants went to obtain these recordings and the legitimate safety concerns of NAF and its members, made all too real by the targeting of individuals on the publicly disclosed videos, the substantial increase in threats of violence to NAF members, and more recently the tragedy in Colorado Springs."

Orrick also noted that CMP can present its argument without using the videos, and that the CMP material does not rebut any arguments NAF or Planned Parenthood will submit to the high court (Inquisitr, 1/30).