Judge Dixon slaps down “fishing expedition” aimed at pro-life advocates

Today (Friday, August 12), Oklahoma County District Judge Bryan Dixon granted a motion to quash/motion for protective order requested by pro-life attorney Kevin Calvey, a former state legislator and vice chairman of the state’s leading pro-life advocacy group. 

The ruling came in response to a subpoena from the Center for Reproductive Rights which had sought to force Oklahomans for Life to turn over its mailing list, email list, internal and external communications, strategy and other information, likely thousands of documents.
The national group is litigating against historic legislation, passed in 2010, allowing pregnant women to see ultrasounds before undergoing abortion procedures.
Dixon said the subpoena was “a fishing expedition,” in agreeing with Calvey’s arguments in the case. Calvey had argued the subpoena was intended to chill the free speech rights of Oklahomans for Life, a leading pro-life group that argued for the ultra sound law when it passed with bipartisan majorities over Governor Brad Henry’s veto. In his veto message at the time, Henry had argued the law amounted to “an unconstitutional invasion of privacy.”
In a statement sent to CapitolBeatOK, Tony Lauinger, chairman of Oklahomans for Life, joined Calvey is declaring, “By winning this battle today, we have nipped in the bud what could be a trend by the abortion industry to try to harass pro-life advocates nationwide.  Maybe now the abortion industry will think twice about serving such harassing subpoenas.”

Today’s ruling was the latest stage in a case that began days after the law, sponsored by state Rep. Lisa Billy of Lindsay, took effect. The Center for Reproductive Rights sued to block the legislation. An injunction was issued by former District Judge Noma Gurich, now a member of the state Supreme Court