ACLJ Files Reply Brief Urging the Supreme Court to Hold Planned Parenthood Accountable | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

ACLJ Profile Completion

Verified

Holding Planned Parenthood Accountable

By Walter M. Weber1429567200000

Washington, D.C. – The American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) today filed a reply brief in support of the ACLJ’s request that the Supreme Court review our False Claims Act (FCA) case against Planned Parenthood. The matter will now be submitted to the Court for action, potentially as early as mid-May.

The case, Gonzalez v. Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, is a whistleblower suit under the federal statute – the FCA – designed to target those who cheat the taxpayer by filing claims for money they are not entitled to. ACLJ attorneys represent Victor Gonzalez, former Chief Financial Officer of PPLA. The lawsuit contends that the PP affiliates in California unlawfully overcharged the federal and state governments more than $200 million.

A federal district court in Los Angeles threw the case out back in 2008. ACLJ attorneys entered the case to handle the appeal, where we won a reversal of the district court and reinstatement of the lawsuit. The same judge dismissed the case again in 2011, but we were able to keep the case in court by filing a new pleading. Finally, the district court judge dismissed the case a third time in 2012, ruling that the complaint did not allege “falsity.” We appealed, pointing out that illegal overcharges are classic “false” claims – claims for money to which one is not entitled. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit did not disagree or agree with us, instead coming up with its own reason for dismissing the case: the argument that the state of California gave unspoken approval to the overcharges.

We filed a petition for certiorari asking the Supreme Court to review the case. We pointed out that the defense of government approval – the so-called “government knowledge defense” – should not apply here. As we explained, the other federal appeals courts only apply this defense after evidence has been taken (not at the complaint stage, as in this case), only apply the defense when the federal (not state) government approves, and only apply the defense when the government “knows and approves” the questionable claims (not when the government merely looks the other way or is silent). The Ninth Circuit’s ruling therefore creates a “conflict in the circuits,” the sort of disagreement only the Supreme Court can resolve.

Prof. Joel Hesch of Liberty Law School, a veteran former FCA litigator for the federal government and a published FCA expert, filed a friend-of-the-court brief on April 6 urging the Supreme Court to take our case. PP that same day filed its own brief trying to downplay the need for Supreme Court review.

Today, April 20, we filed our reply brief, explaining why PP’s objections are inadequate and that the Supreme Court should grant our petition. You can read our brief here.

What happens next? The Supreme Court clerk’s office distributes our petition, Prof. Hesch’s amicus brief, PP’s response to our petition, and our reply, to the Justices of the Supreme Court. The Justices, who meet periodically to discuss and vote upon petitions, probably will consider our case on May 14. At that point the Justices have several options, the most common being: grant the petition (in which case a new round of briefs are filed and the Court hears oral argument); deny the petition; postpone a decision; request input from the federal government (which also enforces the FCA); or decide the case summarily, without further briefing. We may learn as early as May 18 which route the Justices choose to follow.

The Supreme Court hears only a small fraction of the many cases it is asked to review. We believe our case is a solid candidate to be one of those cases the Court accepts. And we welcome all prayers that it be so!

Stop Funding the Abortion Industry

Pro Life  Signatures

LOGIN

Receive the latest news, updates, and contribution opportunities from ACLJ.

$20
$40
$60
$120
$240
Make this a monthly tax-deductible gift.

As we vigorously defend babies in federal court and fight on Capitol Hill to defund Big Abortion, defend life & have your gift DOUBLED today. Have your gift doubled through our Matching Challenge.

Email Address is required.
First Name is required.
Last Name is required.
Credit Card Number is required.
Verification Code is required.
Expiration Month is required.
Expiration Year is required.
Receive the latest news, updates, and contribution opportunities from ACLJ.
Encourage your friends to sign and donate by sharing this petition.
Latest in
Pro Life

NARAL Sees Life as the Competition

By ACLJ.org1531145560658

Big Abortion is irate because Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers are using technology to steal their business and save babies. According to a recent report , the radical abortion group NARAL Pro-Choice America is livid with search engine Google for allowing pro-life advertisements, resulting in users being...

read more

ACLJ Files Support for Babies with Down Syndrome

By Michelle Terry1530547200000

On Friday, June 29, 2018, the American Center for Law & Justice filed an amicus curiae brief – a “friend of the court” brief – at the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Preterm-Cleveland, et al. v. Lance Himes, et al . We filed our brief on behalf of the ACLJ and our Committee to Defend...

read more

Pro-Life Centers Can’t Be Forced to Promote Abortion

By Geoffrey Surtees1530030093744

Today, in a 5-4 decision , the United States Supreme Court held that California cannot conscript pro-life pregnancy centers into mouthing a government-dictated message motivated by that state’s pro-abortion ideology. This is a resounding victory for the First Amendment right to free speech and the...

read more

Planned Parenthood Challenge to Arkansas Law Rejected

By Edward White1529071200000

Recently, the Supreme Court rejected a challenge brought by Planned Parenthood against an Arkansas law requiring abortion pill providers to contract with a physician who has hospital admitting privileges. Planned Parenthood had successfully convinced a trial court to grant an injunction against the...

read more