Pro-life advocates in the nation’s capital have ruled in favor of the DC Court of Appeals, which yesterday ruled unanimously in their favor in a lawsuit filed by a public charter school that took offense at the group’s campaign to prevent a Planned Parenthood next door from opening. †
Stephen Crampton, Senior Counsel for Thomas More Society and lead counsel on the case, said: “This is a tremendous victory not only for Ruby Nicdao but for all those being persecuted for sharing their point of view and speaking the truth to an unsympathetic audience. “He continued: “Although this was an unfounded lawsuit, it took seven years to win. During those seven years, Ruby and other innocent advocates of life had to carry on with a dark cloud of suspicion that followed them everywhere. Forgiving Ruby and her cohorts shouldn’t have taken so long.”
Two Rivers Public Charter School and its board of trustees filed suit in December 2015 for alleged harassment and intimidation of students and for prohibiting the group from banning their efforts against the abortion giant. Thomas More Society lawyers intervened to defend the First Amendment rights of Ruby Nicdao, a longtime pro-life activist who wanted to educate the community, including parents, about Planned Parenthood’s plans to build a mega-abortion facility. To set up in the shadow of their children’s school.
Crampton explained, “Ruby and other life advocates were concerned that parents were unaware of the massive 26,000-square-foot abortion facility being built right next to and across the street from their children’s school.” Metropolitan Washington’s Planned Parenthood, DC, would perform abortions just yards from these elementary and middle school students, one of whom was children as young as three,” Crampton said. “When Ruby and others tried to pass out literature peacefully and talk to parents, they faced intimidation and much hostility, which led to the school – not Planned Parenthood – filing a lawsuit, ostensibly on behalf of the parents and students as well as the school itself.”
Nicdao and others filed a motion of rejection, arguing that the case was a vain attempt to censor their pro-life message. The Superior Court dismissed the request, but a panel of three judges from the District of Columbia Court of Appeals returned and ruled that the school had no legal process for alleged “deliberate infliction of emotional distress” on parents and children and that it did not seem likely to succeed on claims of private nuisance and conspiracy to create a personal problem.
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“Instead of protecting students from Planned Parenthood propaganda and abortion access, Two Rivers attacked Ruby and others who were just trying to share the truth and protect these innocent students,” Crampton added. “Parents need to be mindful of whose interests these public schools want to serve,” he concluded.
Read the June 9, 2022 decision in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals by Assistant Judge Stephen Glickman and Senior Judges Eric Washington and John Fisher in Nicdao et al. v. Two Rivers Public Charter School, Inc. here.
Learn more about the Thomas More Society’s work defending pro-life lawyers and sidewalk counselors here.
The Thomas More Society is a national not-for-profit law firm committed to restoring respect for the law for life, family, religious freedom, and electoral integrity. The Thomas More Society, headquartered in Chicago and with offices nationwide, promotes support for these causes by providing quality pro bono legal services from local courts to the United States Supreme Court. For more information, visit thomasmoresociety.org