“A general rule not applied impartially is for practical purposes no rule at all”
—James FitzJames Stephen
California Attorney General, and Planned Parenthood donor recipient, Xavier Baccera has decided to prosecute two people with the Center of Medical Progress (CMP) for violating Planned Parenthood’s privacy by recording, in public locals, their admission to being purveyors for profit of baby parts.
Despite this superficial desire to protect “privacy” in a public setting, this strict interpretation for an “expectation of privacy“, where parties involved would think anyone even overhearing them is unpossible, does not seemingly apply to other undercover investigations, such as sting videos that expose animal cruelty, even when the undercover video involves talking directly with people is far less public places than a restaurant.
Nor did the state Attorney General’s office ever go after the mistress of Donald Sterling, who was financially harmed by the release of recording made completely in private, where the expectation of privacy was manifest.
To make matters worse, there was even admission that these were recorded in a “non-confidential setting“!
This isn’t even a question of inequality under the law. If the law discriminated between the above situations, or between the above individuals, than at least under the law there would be “the equivalency between the general terms of the law and the description of the particular cases to which it is applied” (Stephen).
This is far worse.
What we see here is the law itself, as written, being applied in a discriminatory fashion, with applicability being dependent on the whims of the state’s officials, or the source of their campaign contributions.
You can not have the rule of law when there is no consistent rule that is actually adhered to. At that point is becomes the rule of those in power, and the law ceases to apply and constrain all, but rather relegates it as a blunt tool of the wielders of Leviathan’s authority.
This is an assault on fundamental 1st Amendment rights by such arbitrary and capricious whims of the Attorney General Planned Parenthood. Journalism, then, becomes a crime when the facts reported are deemed doubleplusungood. This view is so extreme, that even Leftist stalwarts such as the L.A. Times and the ACLU are aghast.
To up the ante, the California Supreme Soviet Legislature is now trying to pass a law that considers any dissemination of any such recording, even by a newspaper or other journalistic endeavor, to be illegal, despite the Supreme Court explicitly saying otherwise.
California has passed from reverence to the law to naked application of power.
Update: The weakness of the case by the Attorney General’s office is outlines nicely here.