Could it be that the Obama Department of Justice is getting the message that pro-life advocates are not violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act when they engage in peaceful advocacy on the public sidewalk?
Last week, in an abrupt about-face, the DOJ dismissed the Pine case, which they had earlier appealed. Not only was the case dismissed, the department also agreed to pay $120,000 in attorney fees.
Prior to the DOJ’s appeal, Florida resident Mary Susan Pine thought her legal battles were over when the lower court judge dismissed all charges against her. The dismissal was based on the complete lack of evidence presented by Attorney General Eric Holder. In dismissing the charges, Judge Ryskamp openly chastised Holder, questioning his motives for bringing the charges in the first place. The judge’s comments raised the issue of whether there might have been a conspiracy between the government and the abortion clinic to violate Ms. Pine’s free speech rights. Following this rebuff, the DOJ promptly filed an appeal, which it has now dismissed. Finally, Ms. Pine has been vindicated. LLDF congratulates our friends at Liberty Counsel for their exemplary work defending Ms. Pine.
The dismissal of the Pine case came on the heels of the DOJ dismissing all charges against Ken Scott, another peaceful pro-life advocate being unjustly prosecuted under FACE.
Please see http://www.lldf.org/category/freedom-of-access-to-clinics/ for an overview of prosecutions under FACE.