In blow to Biden DOJ, jury acquits pro-life activist of all charges
Houck's case attracted national attention for what his attorney described as an "obscene show of force" during his arrest, an incident that prompted accusations of political prosecution.
A Philadelphia jury on Monday found pro-life activist Mark Houck not guilty on both federal charges in relation to an Oct. 13, 2021, altercation with an abortion clinic volunteer.
The Department of Justice pursued charges against Houck, alleging that he "forcefully shoved" Bruce Love, a Planned Parenthood volunteer, in violation of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act.
Houck's defense contended that Love had been "harassing" his son in the leadup to the altercation. The Thomas More Society, which represented Houck, celebrated the jury's decision.
"Mark and his family are now free of the cloud that the Biden administration threw upon them," Executive Vice President & Head of Litigation Peter Breen said after the verdict. "We took on Goliath — the full might of the United States government — and won. The jury saw through and rejected the prosecution's discriminatory case, which was harassment from day one."
"This is a win for Mark and the entire pro-life movement. The Biden Department of Justice's intimidation against pro-life people and people of faith has been put in its place," he continued.
Houck's case attracted national attention for what his attorney described as an "obscene show of force" during his 2022 arrest, an incident that prompted accusations of political prosecution, especially given the DOJ's decision to file charges nearly one year after the episode.
The verdict is a blow to the Department of Justice, which is already facing allegations of political weaponization and congressional inquiries into its handling of politically sensitive investigations.