Pro-life activist David Daleiden has filed a motion seeking to disqualify a judge, who blocked him from releasing undercover videos recorded at an abortion conference, due to his alleged links with abortion giant Planned Parenthood.
Lawyers representing Daleiden, who heads the pro-life group Center for Medical Progress (CMP), have filed a motion in the U.S. District Court in Northern California on June 7, requesting the disqualification of Judge William H. Orrick III "on the grounds that there is evidence of bias in favor of the plaintiff and prejudice against the defendants."
The attorneys claimed that the judge has a "longstanding relationship" with Plant Parenthood as a past board member of an organization connected to a Planned Parenthood affiliate.
The lawyers noted in the motion that the Planned Parenthood affiliate is a member of the National Abortion Federation (NAF), which is the plaintiff in the case against CMP.
Last month, Orrick threatened to hold Daleiden and his legal team in contempt of court after videos that have been barred from release appeared on the website of the pro-life leader's attorneys, The Blaze reported.
The video, which was filmed at NAF trade shows, featured abortionists purportedly discussing the difficulties they encounter in their profession, such as the "the head that gets stuck that we can't get out," and "an eyeball just fell down into my lap, and that is gross!"
At the end of May, Orrick ordered the removal of any video links and references to the identities of NAF members. He said that publishing the videos is a violation of a preliminary injunction against the CMP.
"The instant case is not only high profile but involves one of the most persistently debated moral and political issues of our times," Daleiden's attorneys stated in the motion.
"The public is well aware that abortion is a topic on which many people, including judges, are apt to have very strong feelings they would find difficult to set aside in order to be impartial," he added.
Daleiden's lawyers also alleged that Orrick's wife has expressed support for Planned Parenthood on Facebook, and in 2015, she added the phrase, "I stand with Planned Parenthood," to her profile picture. The motion further stated that the judge's wife also "liked" a Facebook post by the National Abortion Rights Action League describing CMP's work "heavily edited videos by a sham organization run by extremists who will stop at nothing to deny women legal abortion services."
The attorneys said that Orrick's past links to pro-abortion causes "could taint the public's perception of the fairness of the outcome" in the case against CMP.
Daleiden is also facing felony charges in California for recording people without their permission.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who announced the criminal charges against Daleiden and his colleague, Sandra Merritt, on March 28, previously served as a congressman who had received a total of $5,535 from Planned Parenthood during his congressional election bids between 1998 and 2014.