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United States v. Cooley
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
1 F.3d 985 (1993)
An anti-abortion group held a series of protests at abortion clinics in Wichita, Kansas. The clinics obtained a preliminary injunction against blocking access to their medical facilities. The protest group made it clear that protesters would disobey the injunction. The judge who issued the injunction appeared on the television news program Nightline and acknowledged to interviewer Barbara Walters that he would ensure both in and out of court that the protesters who intended to close the clinics by illegal means understood that the injunction would be honored. Robert Cooley and other anti-abortion protestors (collectively, the protesters) (defendants) stormed an abortion clinic in violation of the preliminary injunction. The protesters were arrested and charged with obstructing the federal marshals in performing their duties to enforce the preliminary injunction. The protesters moved to disqualify the judge who issued the preliminary injunction and who would be trying the criminal charges, claiming that the judge’s public statements showed bias or partiality. The court denied the motions, explaining that the court knew nothing about the facts of these protesters’ cases and was not predisposed as to the protesters’ guilt or innocence. The protesters were convicted and argued on appeal that the district-court judge erred in denying the motions for recusal.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Anderson, J.)
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