Illinois Supreme Court Building
This morning the case of Sandholm v. Kuecker begins oral arguments before the Illinois Supreme Court. Normally a case like this involving a high school athletics coach who was fired and later sued a group he claimed was libeling him wouldn’t make pro-life news, but Sandholm is different because it involves the Illinois Citizen Participation Act (CPA). The CPA is the same law that Planned Parenthood has used in the Scheidler v. Trombley libel case to put the Pro-Life Action League and League Executive Director Eric Scheidler on the hook for nearly $500,000 in legal fees.
Citizen Participation Act Gives Planned Parenthood a License to Lie
The CPA states that, when pursuing favorable governmental action, a person cannot be held responsible for public statements made in pursuit of that action, even if those statements are libelous. Scheidler v. Trombley began when Planned Parenthood ran a smear campaign on the League and local activists while trying to open their massive “Abortion Fortress” in Aurora, Illinois. When Eric and the League sued for libel, Planned Parenthood counter-sued under the CPA and won, claiming that they weren’t responsible for their false claims about pro-lifers because they were seeking the favorable government action of getting the Aurora City Council to approve their new clinic. This is obviously ridiculous as it essentially grants Planned Parenthood, or anyone else invoking the CPA, a license to lie and say whatever they please about their opponents without being held responsible. It also takes away the right of victims of the CPA to defend and clear their good name in public.
Victory in Sandholm Crucial to Scheidler v. Trombley
If, as we hope they will, the Illinois Supreme Court finds that this law is unconstitutional in the Sandholm case, Planned Parenthood’s outrageous fee demand in Scheidler v. Trombley would become a dead letter. And remember, this isn’t just an Illinois issue. This tactic of smearing pro-lifers is Planned Parenthood’s go-to move when they encounter resistance to their agenda, and if they can get away with legally crushing pro-life opposition in Illinois, they will surely pursue the strategy elsewhere.
Pray for the Illinois Supreme Court
Please pray that as arguments commence today, and, over the following months as the court reaches their decision, that sanity would prevail and Planned Parenthood would not be allowed to crush the League with their fee demand.