Here are highlights for June:
* On June 2, we appeared on behalf of pro-life rescuers who engaged in a recent Red Rose Rescue at an abortion center located in Southfield, Michigan.
The six rescuers are charged with two misdemeanor offenses (trespassing and resisting an officer).
The court set the case for a jury trial on August 16.
* On June 4, we filed our reply brief in the Second Circuit in our case challenging the New York governor’s and New York City mayor’s COVID-19 restrictions on outdoor First Amendment protests.
While Cuomo is no longer governor, de Blasio is no longer mayor, and the restrictions have since been lifted, the case will proceed because their replacements are free to reimpose such restrictions, but more importantly, the public has an interest in determining whether such restrictions were constitutional in the first instance.
This has been the government’s modus operandi from the beginning: impose a draconian restriction and when sued, change the restriction and ask the court to dismiss the case because it is “moot.”
These tyrannical government officials continuously move the “goal posts” to avoid rulings and in the hope that the challengers will give up. We won’t give up. We will continue to fight this tyranny that we were under for over two years. This can never happen again in America!
* On June 22, we filed a petition for rehearing en banc, asking for full court review of a panel decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which upheld a viewpoint-based restriction on our client’s speech during the 2019 Democratic Party presidential debates. The debates were held at the Fox Theatre in Detroit.
The panel correctly held that the challenged restriction, which separated protestors based on whether they were “left-leaning” or “right-leaning,” was viewpoint based. But the panel incorrectly held that the restriction satisfied “strict scrutiny,” the most demanding test known to constitutional law.
As we argued in our petition:
“There was a time in our nation’s history when the application of strict scrutiny meant something. No doubt, when a decision erodes this most demanding test known to constitutional law, it also erodes the fundamental right that it is intended to protect. In this case, that right is the fundamental right to freedom of speech.”
* On June 28, the felony jury trial began for four pro-life rescuers who were engaging in a Red Rose Rescue when they entered an abortion center in Flint, Michigan in June 2019.
The peaceful rescuers were charged with trespass (misdemeanor), disturbing the peace (misdemeanor), and resisting/obstructing a police officer for engaging in “passive resistance”—an offense which the county prosecutor (a left-wing supporter of abortion) charged as a felony.
AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel Robert Muise represented the rescuers during the trial.
The presiding judge denied the pro-lifers’ request for jury instructions on the defense of others and the defense of necessity, which would have allowed the jury to acquit the rescuers.
After two full days of testimony, the jury returned verdicts of guilty. By denying the instructions, the judge denied the rescuers their ability to defend themselves against the charges.
The conviction will be appealed, and we hope to make precedent in this case, particularly in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent reversal of Roe v. Wade.
Below is a screenshot from one of the security cameras located within the abortion center, and it is telling.
In this image, you see through the admitting office window one of the rescuers kneeling and praying. And in the foreground to the left, you see the office manager counting large bills—the blood money the for-profit abortion center received for its killing business.
This screenshot (and the video itself) was highlighted by Muise during his cross-examination of the abortion center’s office manager and in his closing argument.
Thank you for your prayers and financial support. We couldn’t do what we do without them!