Mr. Holder unsuccessfully sought thousands of dollars in fines against Ms. Pine, as well as a permanent injunction banning her from counseling women on the public sidewalk outside the Presidential Women’s Center (PWC) abortion mill (or any other “reproductive services” clinic).
After 18 months of litigation, the DOJ’s case was thrown out of federal court, and the department was chastised in a scathing ruling by U.S. District Judge Kenneth Ryskamp for filing a case with no evidence.
Judge Ryskamp wrote that Holder’s complete failure to present any evidence of wrongdoing, coupled with the DOJ’s cozy relationship with PWC and their apparent joint decision to destroy video surveillance footage of the alleged “obstruction,” caused the court to suspect a conspiracy at the highest levels 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.”
After the ruling the DOJ appealed on the last day possible and gave indication that President Obama had personally ordered the appeal. A little over a week later, the president apparently decided to cut his losses and reversed course.
Harry Mihet, senior counsel for Liberty Counsel, said of the judge’s ruling: “It’s not every day that a federal judge accuses the Justice Department of a full-blown conspiracy.”
Ironically, this past December, in the midst of the case, Ms. Pine actually counseled a woman outside of PWC and convinced her not to have an abortion, thus saving the life of the child and possibly the mother as well. Her email to Liberty Counsel read simply: “We saved a life today.”
Mathew Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, pulled no punches:
It is irresponsible for the U.S. Department of Justice to place politics above principle when deciding to prosecute, and thus attempt to silence, a pro-life sidewalk counselor without any evidence of wrongdoing.
When the nation’s highest law enforcement officer files suit against any citizen, the suit must be based on the law coupled with compelling evidence. Anything less is an abuse of the high office. Susan Pine will not be silenced or detoured from her mission to save the lives of innocent children.
Indeed, “politics above principle,” intimidation of private citizens and jaw-dropping abuses of power are but a few hallmarks of this Obama administration.
History will be no more kind to this president than he has been to the citizens he was sworn, and failed, to honorably serve.
Matt Barber is founder and editor-in chief of BarbWire.com. He is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. Having retired as an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer, Matt has taken his fight from the ring to the culture war. (Follow Matt on Twitter: @jmattbarber).