California's Supreme Court has halted an abortion case surrounding the trafficking of baby body parts by Planned Parenthood employees, granting pro-life activist David Daleiden an unexpected victory.
On Good Friday, a California Superior Court judge vacated the preliminary hearings against Daleiden and his co-defendant Sandra Merritt.
The action came after an order was sent by California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye that suspended "all further proceedings" in the criminal prosecution against the two pro-lifers.
In 2015, Daleiden released undercover videos that exposed Planned Parenthood workers admitting to harvesting and selling baby body parts.
Planned Parenthood, along with several other groups, sued Daleiden. He was charged with 15 criminal felony counts for non-consensual eavesdropping and conspiracy as a result of the video-recordings. The hearings were scheduled to begin this week in San Francisco in an attempt to determine if there was sufficient evidence to warrant a trial.
Testimony from abortionists was set to be featured at the hearings as well as Daleiden's undercover videos.
Thomas Moore Society, which is representing Daleiden, is hoping to get another win out of this case. They released a statement saying, "We are grateful for this welcome development and hopeful that the California Supreme Court will choose to hear and decide the extremely critical issue raised in this appeal, namely, whether a prosecutor may exercise his or her powers to enforce the criminal laws on a selective, politically discriminatory basis."
The case has been prosecuted by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, successor to Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris. Both have been closely allied with and supported by Planned Parenthood.
In an interview with CBN News, Vice President and Senior Counsel Peter Breen discussed the conflict of interest between Becerra and the case.
"So I can show you video, you can go online and find it of Attorney General Becerra on election night in front of an 'I Stand With Planned Parenthood' sign graciously thanking Planned Parenthood for being with him from the beginning," stated Breen.
"I remember 'I Stand With Planned Parenthood' was the key way that they rebutted the videos back in 2015 as these began, and that's been their mantra, trying to get people to say 'I stand with Planned Parenthood and against David Daleiden'," he added.
"The earmarks of discrimination and bias are all too glaringly apparent," stated Thomas More Society President and Chief Counsel Tom Brejcha in a statement.
"At the very least," he continued, "the attorney general should step aside and allow an unbiased prosecutor to decide whether this prosecution should go forward. But based on evidence of bias already adduced, the case should be dismissed."
In a interesting twist, Breen informed CBN News that Planned Parenthood has been allowed to work with the attorney general in fighting the case.
"Planned Parenthood has actually filed for a motion to intervene in the criminal case" he continued. "And the judge has entertained it."
Thomas Moore Society went on to state that the abortion organization cannot stand alongside Becerra in court, but they have helped in other ways such as providing "evidence".
"The court had entered an unprecedented order allowing private counsel for the complaining witnesses to participate in this criminal trial, whereas criminal prosecution is reserved for public officials, namely, state prosecutors whose duty is to represent all of 'the people,' not private parties or their partisan interests," stated Brejcha.
"The abortion industry representatives have also been allowed to proceed anonymously, and the court was set to prohibit the video evidence from being shown in public, after its viewing in open court," added Brejcha. "Any photographs, broadcast or publication of the proceedings was barred, curtailing Daleiden and Merritt's rights to a public trial and to confront and cross-examine their accusers."
"Worse," continued Brejcha, "exonerating evidence favorable to the defense has been withheld and barred from use in the criminal case. This is a result of rulings by San Francisco Federal Judge William Orrick suppressing that evidence."
"These restrictions have put Mr. Daleiden and his entire legal team into a straitjacket, as we are forced to defend against these serious felony charges while denied access to key evidence that would acquit our client," he added.