One attorney is concerned that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has partially reversed a district court ruling that allowed a university to conceal information relating to the school's purchasing and processing of aborted human baby parts.
Thomas More Society attorney Peter Breen says the legal battle began when investigative journalist David Daleiden requested documents from Washington University's Birth Defects Research Lab. Breen says Planned Parenthood filed suit to block the request.
"The arguments that somehow the individuals should be able to shield public records of their taxpayer-funded work because it's controversial just puts the First Amendment and open government on its head," says Breen.
When a subject matter is notably controversial, he believes there should be more public attention and public light about what the government is doing.
"If we are not able to prevail in this case, it would have grave impact in every area on every controversial subject," the attorney asserts. "The government and other individuals involved with the government could be able to seal their involvement, and that would be a horrific, horrific response, and it would have terrible, terrible implications for the future of our country."
This was the second appeal of a preliminary injunction order by the district judge who continued to allow the state of Washington to shield government records.