Supreme Court takes on another abortion case..sort of.

Nearly two months after the Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal involving the ridiculous parental notification law in New Hampshire, it has recently rejoined the anti-choice protest debate.
Justices announced yesterday that they are going to consider whether an anti-choice group’s protest outside of a number of clinics 20 years ago may have violated federal racketeering and extortion laws, reports the Washington Post. The most recent ruling on this issue was in 2003, when Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist removed a nationwide ban on protests that intervene with abortion clinic business. Now the appeals court is questioning whether the ban should be renewed on other grounds.
The 1998 ban was passed due to the National Organization for Women and abortion clinics filing suit with a law that actually intends to target organized crime. Due to the blatant effort that anti-choicers made to close down or disrupt clinics (including menacing doctors, harassing patients and trashing the centers), they were to be treated as racketeering.
Rehnquist said in 2003 that because there was no extortion of money at the clinics, the 1998 ban was wrongly ruled. Then the 7th Circuit of Appeal in Chicago renewed the case on the grounds that threats of violence and violent acts (for example, a patient was once beat until unconscious with a protester’s sign) may have been enough to sue under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
The new cases are Scheidler v. National Organization for Women, 04-1244, and Operation Rescue v. National Organization for Women, 04-1352. They will both be addressed later this year.

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One Comment

  1. tfreridge
    Posted June 29, 2005 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    This is an abuse of the law. It’s no different than using the patriot act to go after money laundering casino owners.

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