Planned Parenthood Dealt Massive Blow In Court
Last night, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals delivered a major blow to Planned Parenthood in a unanimous ruling that the videos produced by David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) were not deceptively edited and presented compelling evidence of misconduct. The court vacated the district court’s injunction that forced Texas to keep Planned Parenthood on its Medicaid rolls and ordered a new review on the merits.
The ruling from the 5th Circuit effectively gives weight to the sting videos and the conclusions Texas reached based on them in a way the court hasn’t offered before. It comes just one month after the Supreme Court left in place a previous ruling by the 5th Circuit in favor of Planned Parenthood. In that case, the 5th Circuit rejected Louisiana’s effort to defund the healthcare provider that had been based in part on the sting videos, mostly because the state hadn’t actually cited the videos in writing when announcing its decision to terminate the Planned Parenthood contract and lacked other adequate reasoning.
But Texas did cite the videos, in a state report, and that’s a big difference. The opinion itself takes a sharply critical tone toward Judge Sam Sparks’ attitude toward the state’s HHS Office of Inspector General and scolded him for discarding their opinion in favor of Planned Parenthood’s witnesses. In her concurring opinion, Judge Edith Jones notes that the state has empowered the OIG to “investigate and penalize Medicaid program violations,” and is due deference from the courts — especially with the evidence they had at hand.
The court rebuked Sparks for assuming the videos were unauthenticated and noted that the OIG had submitted a report from a forensic firm concluding that the video was authentic and not deceptively edited. This ruling is a major victory for conservatives who have long sought to restrict the power of Planned Parenthood and cut off its taxpayer funding. The 5th Circuit’s ruling remands the case back to the district court for a new review.
— HotAir.com (@hotairblog) January 18, 2019