CA AG Wants to Hide Videos

Jan 23, 2019

The California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is asking the Superior Court of San Francisco to seal and hide from the public, all of the undercover videos that reveal Planned Parenthood’s unethical and potentially illegal conduct involving the sale of baby body parts, even though these are the same videos now being used by the state to criminally prosecute Sandra “Susan” Merritt  and David Daleiden.

Attorney General Becerra has also asked “that any monitor displaying the videos be screened from or directed away from the public gallery,” to prohibit any public viewing. In addition, he seeks the continued sealing of all the complaining witnesses’ names.

At the two-week evidentiary preliminary hearing, scheduled for February 19 to March 1, 2019, the attorney general is required to demonstrate that he has probable cause to criminally charge Merritt and Daleiden with 15 felonies for their undercover journalistic investigation, which exposed Planned Parenthood’s unconscionable practices. Statutory and constitutional law clearly entitles Merritt and Daleiden to be tried in a public proceeding, including a preliminary hearing that is open to the public. 

Liberty Counsel is defending Sandra Merritt against the attorney general’s prosecution. In a brief filed on January 18, 2019, Liberty Counsel demonstrated that the attorney general’s preference to try this case in secret violates Merritt’s fundamental due process rights to have an open and public preliminary hearing. Becerra brazenly seeks to deprive the public from knowing the truth about Planned Parenthood’s baby body parts practices, without any proof that closure or sealing is necessary. The issue is expected to be heard and decided by Judge Christopher Hite of the Superior Court of San Francisco at a hearing on Monday, January 28, 2019 at 1:30 pm.

The Attorney General has offered no proof of the necessity to take the radical and unprecedent step of sealing a preliminary hearing from the public. Instead, the attorney general has offered only speculation, such as his bald assertion that the videos are “essentially contraband,” and “deserving to be treated as such.” Just last week, however, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal held that Merritt’s and Daleiden’s undercover videos were far from “contraband.”

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