Friday, August 01, 2014

City Attorney's phony claim on defending Planned Parenthood clinic

Dennis Herrera in campaign mode

I laughed when I read this in the Chronicle the other day about the Planned Parenthood clinic in the mission:

While other California cities "have come out in strong defense of their ordinances," Saunders Estes told Herrera, "your office continues to dither." In response, Herrera said his office shares "some of the understandable bitterness and disappointment" over the Supreme Court ruling and is working with legal experts elsewhere to figure out how to respond. The real fear, according to insiders, is that defending San Francisco's 25-foot zone could invite a suit by antiabortion activists---which could leave the city on the hook for big legal expenses if they win.

Herrera wasn't worried about "big legal expenses" during his politically-motivated opposition to our litigation against the city's Bicycle Plan. Judge Warren told him way back in 2006 that we were likely to win in court when he issued the preliminary injunction against the city. The City Attorney's website takes note of that:

June 20, 2006: Judge James L. Warren grants petitioners’ request for a preliminary injunction to prohibit the City from implementing projects contained in the Bicycle Plan, finding that they would likely prevail in their argument that the City was required to prepare an EIR for the plan.

After Judge Busch ordered the city to do environmental review of the 500-page plan, Herrera's office filed three motions to lift the injunction even as the city was working on the court-ordered EIR. The city lost on those too and will have to pay our lawyer for her work opposing the motions.

What's the difference in Herrera's concern about "big legal expenses" in 2006 and in 2014? In 2006 Herrera was already thinking about running for mayor, and he didn't want to alienate the bike lobby and city progressives by obeying the most important environmental law in California that clearly required the city do an environmental review of its ambitious, 500-page Bicycle Plan.

Bernalwood follows up on the story.

SF1st links an online petition in support of Planned Parenthood.

Massachusetts is fighting back.

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At 10:36 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

The SFPD is taking the initiative to fill in the gap while the legal issues are sorted out.


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