NHRTL v. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services will not be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. The case involved asking for public release of information related to the 2011 Planned Parenthood grant documents.
“We would have been thrilled if the U.S. Supreme Court had taken on our case. NHRTL has been very concerned with the lack of transparency within the Obama administration. Despite the fact the NH Executive Council voted down the funding of PPPNE in 2011, US Health and Human Services chose to fund Planned Parenthood without going through proper state approval or even follow federal regulations requiring competitive bidding. All attempts to obtain full transparency with regard to this federal non-competitive grant have been rejected. NHRTL believed it was time the taxpayer of NH receive all the facts regarding the spending of their tax dollars,” said Jane Cormier, President of NHRTL.
In an unusual 5 page dissent issued today, Justices Thomas and Scalia rebuked their colleagues stating “The First Circuit’s decision warrants review. It perpetuates an unsupported interpretation of an important federal statute and further muddies and already amorphous test.”
NHRTL was represented by ADF and local Manchester attorney, Michael Tierney, who sought the public release of the information under the Freedom of Information Act. “Americans deserve to know if their tax money is being funneled to groups that are misusing it,” said Tierney. “HHS is withholding documents that are critical in evaluating apparently illegal funding that the administration provided to the abortion giant despite New Hampshire’s grave concerns and without following normal protocols. We had hoped the US Supreme Court would hear our case.”
In June 2011, New Hampshire chose not to award a Title X subgrant to Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, in part because of concerns that the affiliate was improperly using the funds to subsidize its abortion business and was not being transparent about its activities. HHS responded by providing Planned Parenthood a controversial sole-source, non-competitive, Title X “family planning” replacement grant. When New Hampshire Right to Life sought documents concerning the grant, HHS stonewalled until a federal court order required it to produce some, but not all, requested information about the grant.
“New Hampshire’s Executive Council recently voted to again eliminate state funding for Planned Parenthood. We will need to be vigilant to ensure this type of back-door unaccountable funding does not occur again. The taxpayers of New Hampshire certainly deserve better,” said Cormier.