The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals heard arguments en banc Tuesday for Planned Parenthood of Columbia/Willamette, et al. v. American Coalition of Life Activists (ACLA), et al., also known as the “Nuremberg Files” case. The Feminist Majority Foundation, along with several reproductive rights groups, filed an amicus brief urging that the Ninth Circuit re-hear the case en banc after a three-judge panel reversed a jury decision that found ACLA liable for threats of violence under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). The American Medical Association and 43 members of Congress also filed other amicus briefs supporting a re-hearing.
In 1999, the court previously ruled that “WANTED” posters and Internet sites targeting and threatening doctors were “true threats” and not protected free speech by the U.S. Constitution. As a result, the jury awarded plaintiffs a $107.5 million judgment. Then, in March 2001, a three-judge panel reversed that determination claiming that the First Amendment protected ACLA’s actions.
Media Resources: Feminist Majority Foundation; Law.com, 12/12/01
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .