Today, the 12 Democrats on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee endorsed Thomas Perez, President Obama’s nominee to lead the Department of Labor.
Heritage Action’s Josh Robbins has explained why this was a terrible idea and why the Senate should absolutely not confirm Mr. Perez:
Perez initiated a baseless prosecution under the Free Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act against a woman who offered sidewalk counseling in front of an abortion clinic. The FACE Act has an explicit exemption for “expressive conduct,” and as Heritage’s Hans von Spakovsky wrote, “The judge in the Florida case noted the shocking absence of any evidentiary grounds for the prosecution, or even the applicability of the FACE Act, exposing the bald partisanship of this Justice Department.” Are these types of frivolous prosecutions going to help the American work force?
Perez sued a pro-life sidewalk counselor in Florida for $10,000, claiming that she “obstructed” a car from entering an abortion clinic and that she posed an “immediate threat.”
To be clear, FACE permits sidewalk counselors to walk beside patients, coming or going, on a public sidewalk. The federal judge who heard the case severely reprimanded Perez for frivolously filing the suit with no valid evidence and no corroborating witnesses to the alleged infraction. It is clear that Perez was targeting this pro-life counselor for political reasons, not based on the evidence. Moreover, the First Amendment protects their right to speak to women entering an abortion clinic to tell them about better alternatives, but Perez doesn’t care about that.