Judge Rules Anti-Choice Terrorist Can Claim Religious Protection for Conversations with Tiller Murderer


On Friday U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten handed anti-choice terrorist Angel Dillard a win, ruling Dillard doesn’t have to disclose “ministerial discussions” she had with Scott Roeder, the man convicted of murdering abortion provider Dr. George Tiller.

As reported in the Topeka Capital-Journal, Marten’s ruling reversed an earlier decision that Dillard’s communications with Roeder were not protected by the ministerial exception because Dillard is not an ordained minister. But Marten held that Dillard was acting as a lay minister and was therefore entitled to the protection. It’s an incredible expansion of the privilege and one which the radical anti-choice community is no doubt taking notice.

Dillard is accused of sending a threatening letter to Dr. Mila Means who was training to provide abortion services after Tiller’s murder. According to the Department of Justice complaint against Dillard, the letter to Means mentioned Tiller’s assassination and warned Means against providing abortion services in Wichita.

In the same ruling Marten said Dillard must disclose communications she had with another inmate, Robert Campbell. Campbell claims Dillard hired him to stalk Means, while Dillard denies this and claims Campbell is trying to blackmail her.

But just because those communications must be disclosed does not guarantee they will make it into evidence in the trial, currently slated for October. At the time of trial they can be excluded from evidence if a judge decides the statements are too unreliable, a fact judge Marten made clear in his ruling. At issue in the case is whether the letter Dillard wrote to Means was a “true threat” in violation of the federal law designed to protect access to abortion clinics. In the letter, Dillard allegedly wrote that thousands of people from across the nation were scrutinizing Means’ background and would know “your habits and routines.”

The letter is chilling. In it Dillard writes, “They know where you shop, who your friends are, what you drive, where you live,” the letter said. “You will be checking under your car every day — because maybe today is the day someone places an explosive under it.”

The Dillard trial has shed light on the violent underworld of radical anti-abortion activists and the last thing this community needs is any additional enabling by the federal courts. But that’s exactly what this ruling does. If someone like Dillard can claim to be a minister so as to shield communications with convicted assassins like Scott Roeder who have admitted to wanting to instigate more deadly violence against clinic workers, then we can expect to see a lot more ministers among the most violent actors in the anti-abortion movement.

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Follow Jessica Mason Pieklo on twitter: @hegemommy

  • nettwench14

    This is terrorism every bit as much as the guys in Boston. Why is a US judge protecting a terrorist?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Kuperberg/698603245 Jonathan Kuperberg

      Sending a threatening letter isn’t the same as killing people with explosives, no. The man who killed someone has been sentenced to life in prison. Hardly “protected”. Oh, and ministerial privilege is a long-standing feature of American law, so no-one’s treating a terrorist better or worse than anyone else in the criminal system. Or do fair trials and rights of the defendant go out the window when abortion is involved?

  • MaatMenNefer

    One of the main traits of Fascism is the repression of women. Do you smell the coffee yet? And then there is the revision of History, Hmmm…the skull logos on the mercenaries who were also present at the Boston Marathon. The SS in Germany had special ‘Death’s Head’ squads whose logo was basically the same. Better awake from your dreams pronto or you will be living in the Security States of Amerikkka. Oh wait, you already are, you’re just in denial.

  • http://www.facebook.com/susan.wasser Susan Wasser

    This is Bullshit

  • thecyberczarina

    Because killing under the guise of Godliness is perfectly acceptable to the religious right. What a bunch of hypocrites! It’s 2013, how did our country become so screwed up religiously?! Sad, frightening and it’s only going to get worse!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003555854703 Donald Spitz

    This is not terrorism, murdering helpless babies in their mother’s womb is terrorism and those who support these murders are just as guilty as the babykilling abortionists who commit them.

    • HeilMary1

      Fathers and priests who force mother-killing pregnancies on women should be jailed for using fetuses to murder women. Fair is fair.

    • goatini

      All babies, ever, have already been born.
      Women become mothers at childbirth.

      Women are persons.

    • http://twitter.com/JenGStarr Jennifer Starr

      No, Don Don, this is terrorism. And you’re a terrorist. We all know this.

    • http://www.facebook.com/maryjane.mccarthyjames MaryJane Mccarthy James

      Just another scumbag who only values zygotes. Once a child is born you could care less about what happens to them.Admit it the real issue is wanting to control a women’s vagina. You are all pathetic losers.

    • THEGAMETWO

      Pleeeze Don. You’re more than likely in the “Bible Thumper” category of humanity and if so, you should know what The Bible says about life… it BEGINS with THE FIRST BREATH of air that a just born being takes… not breathing = not living… breath = life… that’s even true in the plant world, the fish world, the animal world, and the human world Don…

      I hate to tell you Don, but you weren’t a living, breathing, human being until you came flying out of your mother’s birth canal and got a good slap on the ass to start your breathing process. Prior to that moment you were basically a parasite inside your mommy’s belly.

    • Guest

      Don’t you have an Apocalypse in 2012 to get ready for?

      Oh, yeah…

  • http://www.facebook.com/maryjane.mccarthyjames MaryJane Mccarthy James

    Time to start holding these domestic terrorist accountable for their threats. I guess any fake “Christian” are not accountable. Maybe the judge needs to go.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Kuperberg/698603245 Jonathan Kuperberg

      I just *knew* that some Christophobic piece of scum (MJMJ, you’re not even fit to lick dog shit off Scott Roeder’s boots) would start trying to not-a-christianize people with pathetic little parentheses and words like “fake”.
      Dillard IS a Christian, as is Roeder, whether you think so or not- Christianity is belief not behaviour so once you’re born again you have Blessed Assurance of eternity with God even if you take part in domestic terrorism or some other grave crime. GOD judges on faith, not works- and be glad about that because if He judged on our works *not one of us* would qualify to see eternal life.

  • ProChoiceLiberal

    Frightening! It shows just how radical and violent the anti-choice community is! The courts need to PROECT WOMEN and these clinics and doctors! Stop violent, sexist, anti-choice attacks and PROTECT WOME wanting abortion care!