Press Release from Liberty Cousel
After being thrown out of federal court and chastised for filing a case with no evidence, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has now filed an appeal in Holder v Pine, its longstanding political prosecution of a pro-life American. Holder had unsuccessfully sought thousands of dollars in fines against Susan Pine, as well as a permanent injunction banning her from counseling women on the public sidewalk outside the Presidential Women’s Center (“PWC”) abortion clinic. Without any evidence of wrongdoing, Holder accused Pine of obstructing the entrance to an abortion clinic in violation of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (“FACE”).
In January, after 18 months of litigation, federal judge Kenneth L. Ryskamp dismissed Holder’s lawsuit. Holder’s complete failure to present any evidence of wrongdoing, coupled with the DOJ’s cozy relationship with PWC and their joint failure to preserve video surveillance footage of the alleged “obstruction,” caused Judge Ryskamp to suspect a conspiracy at the highest level of the Obama Administration.
“The Court is at a loss as to why the Government chose to prosecute this particular case in the first place,” wrote Judge Ryskamp. “The Court can only wonder whether this action was the product of a concerted effort between the Government and PWC, which began well before the date of the incident at issue, to quell Ms. Pine’s activities rather than to vindicate the rights of those allegedly aggrieved by Ms. Pine’s conduct.”
Liberty Counsel has now asked Judge Ryskamp to award Ms. Pine approximately $140,000.00 in attorney’s fees and costs for having to defend herself against Holder’s political lawsuit. Undeterred, the DOJ now appears to be doubling down, committing yet more taxpayer funds and resources to the abortion lobby’s efforts to silence pro-life Americans.
Harry Mihet, Senior Litigation Counsel for Liberty Counsel, commented: “The Justice Department has apparently forgotten its name and that its purpose is to pursue justice, not unconstitutional, groundless claims manufactured by abortion clinics to intimidate and silence pro-life Americans. Mr. Holder’s appeal will meet with the same fate as his initial lawsuit. His time would be better spent protecting, rather than undermining, the Constitution he swore to uphold.”