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Posted on Feb 25, 2013 | 1 comment

Driehaus Appeals

Driehaus Appeals

steve driehaus offical photo stylized

Former Congressman Steve Driehaus has appealed his suit against the pro-life political watchdog group the Susan B. Anthony List.

Former Congressman Steve Driehaus, whose suit against the Susan B. Anthony List was dismissed last month, has filed an appeal against the pro-life organization.

 

Driehaus, a Catholic and Democrat who won the traditionally Republican seat by running as pro-life and a fiscal conservative, sued the SBA List for defamation and loss of livelihood after losing the 2010 election to Steve Chabot.

 

The SBA List, an advocacy group that supports pro-life political candidates (to counter the pro-abortion group Emily’s List), urged pro-life voters not to vote for him because he voted for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Like almost all pro-life groups, the SBA List contends that the ACA will eventually fund abortions.

 

Driehaus is one of the “Stupak 13” group of Democrats who voted for the ACA after President Obama signed an executive order barring it from funding abortions.  The law does not contain any prohibitions against funding abortion, and executive orders can be rescinded at any time.

 

The SBA List held rallies and told its members and supporters that Driehaus and six other Democrats running for reelection were “sellouts” because they voted for the law despite pledging not to if it funded abortion.

 

Initially sympathetic to Driehaus’s argument, U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black eventually ruled against him, saying that political free speech protects a political opponent from charges of defamation — and that, in any case, the claims do not amount to defamation because they are “substantially true,” something that reasonable people might consider true even if other reasonable people do not.

 

“His vote for ‘Obamacare’ lost him his seat,” says SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “We made sure that the people of Ohio knew about his real record, and he blamed us for ruining his career! Now he’s appealing the court’s commonsense decision against his nonsense lawsuit. “

 

The suit, she says, costs the SBA List time and money to fight, and defies both the American right to free speech and the political process. “He’s using the federal court system to attempt to restrict our constitutional right to free speech and to prevent us from holding elected officials accountable for the way they vote,” she says.

 

Lawyers for Driehaus, who moved to Africa to do charity work soon after losing the election, filed the appeal Feb. 21st.

 

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1 Comment

  1. Steve was quoted by Cincinnati Magazine about the Obamacare Executive Order in the “Mr. Driehaus comes back from Washington” article:

    “It was at that point in the reaction to the executive order [which banned federal funding of abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is in danger] that I understood how disingenuous the Right to Life movement is. They’re not about solutions. They’re about partisan politics. Rather than saying, “Wow, these pro-life Democrats stuck it out. They’re taking tremendous heat within their party over principles that they believe. They got a pro-choice president to sign an executive order…” the other side immediately said the [executive order] wasn’t worth the paper it was written on. What about the Emancipation Proclamation? The creation of the Peace Corps? George Bush’s order on stem cell research? Those were done by executive order.”

    And

    “I don’t care what Right to Life says. They haven’t shown a single dime that has gone toward an abortion—and they can’t. They are showing themselves to be what they are: a wing of the Republican party.”

    According to Dr. Alevda King, an Assoc. Pastor for Priests for Life ( yes for those who do not know her, she is a niece of the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.) former Rep Bart Stupak who now comments on how the Executive order banning funds for abortion may have been violated.

    “Now, Stupak, in video captured by the conservative blog Red State, admits the new Obama HHS mandate, that forces religious groups to pay for and refer women for abortion-causing drugs, violates Obamacare and the executive order.”

    http://www.priestsforlife.org/africanamerican/blog/index.php/livenews-com-stupak-admits-obama-violated-his-executive-order-on-obamacare-abortion

    My note: Real Catholics are not left or right wing, we are faithful Catholics and vote on the issues based on the teaching of our Lord, not man. The President of the Catholic League, Bill Donahue has said that “I did not leave the Democratic Party, the party left me” in reference to values, not politics.