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Thomas More Society Attorneys Seek Dismissal of Criminal Charges vs. Mayoral Candidate Who Was Arrested When He Questioned Rep. Patrick Kennedy's Pro-Abortion Stance

by Staff
February 17, 2010
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PROVIDENCE, RI, ( -- Attorneys from the Chicago- based Thomas More Society are appearing in Providence municipal court tomorrow for a hearing on their motion to dismiss disorderly conduct charges against Christopher Young. Young, a Democratic mayoral candidate, was arrested and dragged away to jail after questioning Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-Rhode Island, about his pro-abortion views at an "open forum" on health care at Brown University last November.

Thomas More Society attorneys argue that Young was not "disorderly" but rather was exercising his First Amendment rights when he questioned Rep. Kennedy about his support for abortion in health care reform and tossed a video onto the table at which the Congressman was seated. The video was Maafa 21, a documentary on the history of abortion aimed at African-Americans that charges Planned Parenthood and other abortionists with "black genocide." Young's questions were blunt and spirited but wholly peaceable, falling far short of "fighting words" or threats that might have exceeded the bounds of constitutionally protected speech.

"This event was open to the public and widely advertised as an open forum, that is, an opportunity for the very sort of robust, wide-open debate on critical issues to which our nation cherishes such a profound commitment," said Tom Brejcha, the Society's president and chief counsel, "and Young was wholly within his rights in putting tough questions to Kennedy, who never answered but sat smugly and watched while his questioner was muzzled, handcuffed and hauled off to jail." He added, "Kennedy had argued that every person has a divine spark that entitles him or her to health care, and this provoked questions from Young, also a Catholic, as to how Kennedy could advocate health care laws suppressing conscience rights of Catholics and others who deem it abhorrent that the divine spark is snuffed out in so many infants before they even see the light of day. How sad it is to reflect that the younger Congressman's late father, patriarch of the Kennedy family for so many years, was once outspokenly pro- life, and that the family has strayed so far from those early and eloquent calls to protect the unborn."

The hearing to dismiss charges will take place tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. For more information or to speak with an attorney from the Thomas More Society before or after the hearing, contact Tom Ciesielka at 312-422-1333 or

About the Thomas More Society
Founded in 1997, the Thomas More Society is a not- for-profit, public interest law firm based in Chicago and dedicated to fighting for the rights and dignity of all human beings, from conception until natural death. The Society vigorously defends clients in state and federal courtrooms around the country, addressing vital issues across the pro-life spectrum, including pregnancy discrimination, end-of-life health care, the right of conscientious objection for medical workers, freedom of speech, free exercise of religion, and peaceable nonviolent protest.

As a public interest law firm, the Thomas More Society is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, supported solely by private donations. Visit for more information.

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