A changing of the guard at the New York attorney general's office likely won't change the picture for pro-life counselors sued by the agency.
Eric Schneiderman filed the lawsuit against 14 pro-life counselors who pray at an abortion clinic in Queens, although one has been dropped from the case. Schneiderman, who resigned Monday night, is a rabid supporter of abortion and Planned Parenthood. Attorney Martin Cannon of the Thomas More Society, which represents ten of the counselors, says Schneiderman alleges violation of the Federal Access to Clinics Entrances Act – although the law protects free-speech rights.
"He's trying to reframe it as intimidation and threatening so that he can get it out of the protected category and into the violation category," Cannon explains. "If he's successful, you will see this tactic tried all across the country. So it's an enormous case of nationwide significance."
According to Cannon and other attorneys for the remaining clients, the sidewalk counselors have never used intimidation or threats but peacefully pray at the clinic.
Schneiderman resigned Monday based on allegations of mistreatment of women, but Cannon doesn't believe that will change the strategy of the deputy attorney generals who are prosecuting the case. "Now it's possible that a new A.G. would have a different attitude that would kind of find its way into our case, but I don't expect a significant change," he tells OneNewsNow.
The next federal court date for the pro-lifers is May 22. Cannon expects a ruling one way or the other fairly soon after that hearing.