As we were making the final preparations for last night's Candlelight Vigil to kick off the 40 Days for Life campaign here in Aurora, our attorney Peter Breen was before the City's Building Code Board of Appeals to witness the final rubber-stamping of our case there.
At one point in the proceedings, Planned Parenthood's attorney Chris Wilson asked that the record show that none of the appellants were present, as if to imply that the appellants, Eric Scheidler and Fox Valley Families Against Planned Parenthood, weren't interested enough in this case to even show up.
Peter told the board that if they would care to move the hearing to the building under investigation tonight, they would find hundreds of the appellants peacefully praying there. [Continue reading . . . »]
UPDATE: Eric Scheidler's response to Ms. Sherman's column was published in today's Beacon.
In this morning's Beacon News, columnist Deena Sherman offered some thoughts in the "Common Sense" column about putting aside disrespect and hate in the abortion debate.
Sherman is right to call for civility, but her article makes no advances towards any such thing. In a column ostensibly about Eric Scheidler's libel case against Planned Parenthood, Ms. Sherman addresses everything from Nazism to Mahatma Gandhi.
Everything, that is, except whether whether Steve Trombley lied about Eric and Aurora's pro-life community. "That's not the question I'm asking.", Ms. Sherman said. But she never even answers the question she claims to be asking! [Continue reading . . . »]
This morning on the radio I heard that Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner is undergoing surgery today at Northwestern Memorial Hospital to remove a cancerous tumor from his colon. As the Beacon reports, the mayor was found to be cancer-free earlier this year, after a successful bout with colon cancer last year.
Mayor Weisner has been no friend to us in our battle against Planned Parenthood, but perhaps for that reason he is all the more deserving of our prayers today for a successful surgery and speedy recovery.
No word yet on what impact this recent diagnosis might have on the mayor's plans to run for reelection next year.
Update: The Beacon reports today (9-11-08) that the mayor's prognosis is good after the surgery.
The zoning case against Planned Parenthood is moving forward in state court. Just yesterday Judge Kenneth Popejoy was assigned to the case in DuPage County court, which has reasserted its jurisdiction over the case after a brief haitus in federal court. And tonight we continue the municipal side of the case with an appearance before the Aurora Building Code Board of Appeals.
This hearing gives city officials their third and final chance to seriously address the substance of the case against Planned Parenthood—as they've refused to do in our two appeals to the Zoning Board of Appeals. Corporation Counsel Alayne Weingartz has filed a Motion to Dismiss—even though she was the one who insisted our case had to be brought to this Board in the first place.
Come out to the Fifth Floor Conference Room at City Hall (map) at 5 p.m. for the hearing, or check back here for live reports.
If all you read was the Beacon News headline this morning, you may have gotten the wrong idea about what happened in the hearing in the Scheidler v. Trombley libel case yesterday. Their headline read "Libel suit against Planned Parenthood is dismissed".
What actually happened was that Judge Judith Brawka allowed Planned Parenthood's Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) motion against us, thus dismissing the charges in our previous complaint.
However, she allowed us to file four new charges based on evidence our attorneys uncovered in the discovery process.
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