Today, U.S. District Judge James Donato denied the Center for Medical Progess’ (CMP) request to disqualify Judge William Orrick from continuing to preside over our case. CMP filed the motion to disqualify Orrick two years into our case—on the eve of a hearing to determine if CMP and David Daleiden should be held in contempt for the apparent violation of our Preliminary Injunction with the recent release of videos in May.
“The defendants have tried many tactics to delay our case in the last two years, and this was nothing more than another attempt to stall and avoid contempt proceedings,” said Melissa Fowler, a spokesperson for the National Abortion Federation (NAF). “We are very pleased with today’s ruling and are ready to move forward with the contempt hearing.”
CMP claimed Orrick’s affiliation with a nonprofit group and two Facebook “likes” by Orrick’s wife created an appearance of bias against defendant David Daleiden. Judge Donato disagreed saying in his order:
“Defendants say disqualification should also result from the “cumulative effect” of the facts and circumstances they have identified, but the Court finds there is no “effect” to “cumulate.” Each of defendants’ arguments adds up to a zero, and the whole is not greater than the sum of these parts.”
“No reasonable person would conclude Judge Orrick is biased based on his previous charitable work and his wife’s Facebook activity,” said Fowler. “It’s shocking that in 2017, defendants would argue that a woman is not an independent thinker and speaker from her husband.”
Alissa Manzoeillo, National Abortion Federation
202.667.5881, ext 219; 202.595.4395 (after hours/cell)
The National Abortion Federation (NAF) is the professional association of abortion providers. Our members include individuals, private and non-profit clinics, Planned Parenthood affiliates, women’s health centers, physicians’ offices, and hospitals who together care for approximately half the women who choose abortion in the U.S. and Canada each year. Our members also include public hospitals and both public and private clinics in Mexico City and private clinics in Colombia. Our mission is to ensure safe, legal, and accessible abortion care, which promotes health and justice for women.