by James A. Wilson
November 15, 2019 marks the day a jury found David Daleiden of the Centers for Medical Progress guilty of criminal trespass when he and colleague Sandra Merritt entered Planned Parenthood events as invited guests and made undercover videos exposing the harvesting of baby body parts for sale. The release of these videos triggered investigations of the abortion giant all over the country and has significantly cut into its funding – where judges have not intervened to protect the guilty.
The most recent interventionist is Judge William Orrick, who presided over the Daleiden civil trial, not to be confused with a criminal trial against Daleiden and Merritt. The judgment requires payment for damages of $870,000.00 – the damage being the exposure itself. Daleiden says, “While top Planned Parenthood witnesses spent six weeks testifying under oath that the undercover videos are true and Planned Parenthood sold fetal organs on a quid quo pro basis, a biased judge with close Planned Parenthood ties spent six weeks trying to influence the jury with pre-determined rulings and suppressed the video evidence, all in order to rubber-stamp Planned Parenthood’s attack on the First Amendment.”
I wrote earlier Orrick’s lawlessness had escalated radically since he dismissed most of the charges last August. That conduct began when he refused to recuse himself from hearing the case at all due to his close ties to the corporate plaintiff; he later allowed the charge of racketeering to stand despite his knowledge the US Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled the federal statute cannot be used to prosecute pro-life activity that is not otherwise criminal.
Orrick served on the board of a family resource center that shared space and helped run a Planned Parenthood facility. He is a longtime donor to Planned Parenthood; this alone disqualifies him to hear a case involving Planned Parenthood. Yet his escalation of dictatorial powers waited until time for instructing the jury.
Despite the fact the jury determines guilt or innocence under America’s constitution Orrick instructed jurors, “I have already determined that these defendants trespassed at each of these locations. Because I determined that these defendants trespassed, the law assumes that Planned Parenthood has been harmed and is entitled to an award…” Orrick continued, declaring from the bench that investigators “trespassed at the 2014 Forum in Miami, Florida; at the 2015 MeDC meeting in Orlando, Florida; and the 2015 National Conference in Washington, DC” as well as facilities in Colorado and Texas.
Reality is the law does not assume harm from trespass or any other act; the burden of proof on a plaintiff in a civil action is to prove first that an act was committed and then that it caused harm. In this case, however, the investigators possessed credentials – lawfully if craftily obtained – that made them invited guests. They were not trespassers any more than they are racketeers. They did cause harm – the harm to wrongdoers that always follows the revelation of wrongdoing. In this case the perpetrators bragged about what they had done, albeit without realizing to whom they were bragging.
A larger reality is the incalculable harm caused by a federal judge usurping the authority of the jury to determine guilt or innocence. But the largest reality is the question of what people of decency and integrity should do in the face of such judicial anarchy.
Just as I wrote earlier, we need to be in prayer and repentance for the sake of our nation. Prayer does not compel William Orrick or anyone else to do what is right. Yet one of the many things it does accomplish is an atmospheric change that makes right seem more reasonable and attractive than what is wrong. This is why a federal judge changed policy in the Sacramental Delta when his anti-agriculture stance had been adamant for years; it is why thousands gave their hearts to God up and down the West Coast during the days of repentance preceding the end of a record-breaking drought, and it accounts for the cancellation of violent demonstrations during an event known as The Call in 2010. But prayer without repentance is just noise – albeit joyful – while repentance aligns prayer with the beating heart of God.
As I also wrote earlier, we need to be speaking up and actively resisting – within legitimate and non-violent boundaries – until government listens and amends its behavior. Non-violent resistance toppled Jim Crow; it brought down the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain. Planned Parenthood and judges like Orrick are outclassed by warriors of service and love – sooner or later and one way or another.
Finally we need to recognize and respond to the truth uttered by Benjamin Franklin two and a half centuries ago, “We must all hang together or we will surely all hang separately.” The time for dictating to one another or demanding all rally around one ideology, theology, or trial-ology is long past. We will be blessed as we bless one another and attribute all good living to the Author of life.
Whether David Daleiden wins or loses his inevitable appeal of this unjust judgment he is and will be a martyr to authentic justice in service to its Source. Whether his martyrdom has value for anyone but himself is up to the rest of us.
James A. Wilson is the author of Living As Ambassadors of Relationships, The Holy Spirit and the End Times, Kingdom in Pursuit, and his first novel, Generation – available at Bounty Books, or at firstname.lastname@example.org