Anti-Abortion Group Seeks to Overturn Landmark RICO Ruling
Anti-abortion extremists, represented by the right-wing American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), have asked the Supreme Court to review the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision, Now v Scheidler, which upheld the use of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) against anti-abortion blockaders. In 1994, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that RICO could be used against anti-abortion blockaders. Thus, the ACLJ is asking the Court to reconsider its own decision of just eight years ago.
Since this landmark case was decided, the ruling has been instrumental in helping protect abortion providers from anti-abortion violence and harassment. In October 2001, the Seventh Circuit found that repeated assaults by Scheidler et. al., and those acting in concert with them, including restraining clinic workers and patients, entering clinics and destroying medical equipment and blocking doorways and entrances to clinics, were violations of the Hobbs Act and RICO. The Seventh Circuit upheld the nationwide injunction put in place by the lower court, which prohibits any of the plaintiffs from obstructing access to clinics, damaging clinic property, or using force or threats of force against clinics, employees, staff, and patients.
Media Resources: WorldNetDaily.com 1/29/02; The Feminist Majority Foundation
11/21/2014 Fifth Circuit Court Refuses to Reconsider Ruling Blocking Mississippi TRAP Law - The full US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Thursday refused to reconsider a panel decision blocking enforcement of a Mississippi law that threatened to close the last remaining abortion clinic in the state.
In July, a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a preliminary injunction against a Mississippi TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) law requiring abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals. . . .