State high court halts preliminary hearing for anti-abortion activists

David Daleiden, Sandra Merritt charged with secretly filming abortion clinicians, biotech employees

Anti-abortion activist David Daleiden is shown here addressing supporters after a court hearing in 2017. (Photo courtesy of Sara Gaiser)

A preliminary hearing that was scheduled to begin Monday in San Francisco Superior Court for two anti-abortion activists accused of illegal spying was halted late Friday by the California Supreme Court.

David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt are charged by the California Attorney General’s Office with secretly filming abortion clinicians and biotech company employees without their permission at meetings in San Francisco, Los Angeles County and El Dorado County in 2014 and 2015.

They claim that Superior Court Judge Christopher Hite unfairly denied them an evidentiary hearing on their allegations that state Attorney General Xavier Becerra is prejudiced against them and that they are being selectively prosecuted.

The state high court in a brief order Friday stayed all proceedings in the case while it reviews the claim. The preliminary hearing before Hite had been scheduled to last two weeks.

Julia Cheever, Bay City News

Just Posted

Thirty years after Loma Prieta, is San Francisco ready for the next ‘big one?’

Bay Area residents breathed a sigh of relief this week after a… Continue reading

With Loftus set to take office, poll shows voters disapprove of last-minute DA appointment

Mayor London Breed made an unpopular decision when she named candidate Suzy… Continue reading

Proposals for sculpture to honor Maya Angelou meet with rejection

The search for an artist to create a monument to poet and… Continue reading

Market Street is only the beginning of drive to clear city streets of cars

Car-free streets won’t stop at Market. At least, that’s the intent of… Continue reading

SF approves plans for a car-free Market Street

San Francisco will soon kick cars off one of its busiest thoroughfares… Continue reading

Most Read