The attorneys general of 20 states have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to lift the injunction that has prevented the release of undercover videos that purports to show Planned Parenthood officials illegally profiting from the sales of aborted baby body parts.
The amicus brief, authored by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, called on the nation's highest court to lift an injunction issued by Judge William Orrick and upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, preventing the release of undercover videos recorded by Center for Medical Progress (CMP).
The attorneys general argued that the injunction "hampers law enforcement's ability to effectively receive information and investigate possible civil or criminal wrongdoing."
"The decision empowers would-be wrongdoers, especially those engaged in collusion, conspiracy, or other multi-party enterprises, to shroud their actions and hamper investigations," they stated, as reported by Breitbart News.
Apart from Arizona, other states that have joined in the brief are Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Planned Parenthood has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in the alleged sale of aborted baby body parts and has insisted that the videos were deceptively edited to support false claims.
However, Fusion GPS, a research firm hired by Planned Parenthood to review the videos, has stated that their analysis on the videos "did not reveal widespread evidence of substantive video manipulation."
"[A]nalysts found no evidence that CMP inserted dialogue not spoken by Planned Parenthood staff," the research firm further noted.
CMP's David Daleiden and two of his attorneys were recently found in contempt of court and have been fined $200,000 following the release of a three-minute compilation of some of the banned videos.
The footage reportedly featured Planned Parenthood and National Abortion Federation officials joking about illegally modifying abortion procedures and conceding that abortion is murder.
"Let's just give them all the violence. It's a person. It's killing. Let's just give them all that," Planned Parenthood of Michigan's Lisa Harris said on the video, according to Life Site News.
The Ninth Circuit Court had stated in its ruling upholding Orrick's injunction that CMP has no First Amendment right to release the videos because the group had supposedly signed a confidentiality agreement to attend the National Abortion Federation's convention. Brnovich, however, argued that criminal activity is not covered by confidentiality agreements, adding that whistleblowers should at least be allowed to share their activities with law enforcement authorities.
Daleiden and the CMP have a pending motion seeking to disqualify Orrick on the grounds that "there is evidence of bias in favor of the plaintiff and prejudice against the defendants."
Orrick is reportedly listed as an emeritus member of the board of the Good Samaritan Family, an entity that is in partnership with a Planned Parenthood affiliate.