Tuesday, February 28, 2006

US Supreme Court rejects RICO case against pro-life activists

A bit of good news in the fight against abortion!

Feb. 28 (CWNews.com) - The Supreme Court has ruled that pro-life demonstrations cannot be banned under a federal law intended to fight organized crime.

In a unanimous 8-0 decision announced on February 28, the Supreme Court apparently put an end to a 20-year case, NOW v. Scheidler, in which abortion advocates sought damages against prominent pro-life organizers, claiming that they were engaged in an illegal conspiracy to harm the abortion business.

Isn’t that like being engaged in an illegal conspiracy to harm the slave trade? Isn’t that a good thing?

The abortionists' lawsuit was brought under the federal RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) law. The novel effort to portray pro-lifers as gangsters led to a long series of legal challenges and maneuvers, and the case has come up before the Supreme Court on three separate occasions.

I can see the headlines now: “Jimmy “The Mouth” Dobson, Phyllis “Ma” Schlafly Cornered in Pennsylvania Farmhouse! Three G-Men wounded in wild exchange of sermons!”

In 2003 the Court ruled that a nationwide injunction against the Pro-Life Action League, granted in 1998, should be voided. But the pro-abortion plaintiffs went back to court yet again, bringing the case before the Supreme Court for the third time.

If you can’t get your way in an election, get it through the courts. Five votes are easier to come by than five million, and what do “the people” know, anyway?

Justice Stephen Breyer, writing today's unanimous decision for the High Court, observed that pro-life demonstrations could not be seen as "a freestanding violence offense" under the terms of the RICO law. He observed that Congress had made a special effort to address blockades at abortion clinics with the Freedom of Access of Clinic Entrances (FACE) law of 1994.

Should have been Freedom Unlimited for Child Killers. (Figure out the acronym yourself; I won't put it in print.)

"Naturally I am gratified to be vindicated once again by the United States Supreme Court," said Joe Scheidler, the director of the Pro-Life Action League and defendant in the case. "I am mystified that I had to go to the trouble and expense of appearing before the Supreme Court three times."

And if you can’t even get the votes from your buddies on the court, keep suing until your enemies run out of money.

Newly appointed Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito did not participate in the decision announced today.

Fine. Let’s keep him in training for R v. W. In the meantime, the pro-life movement is free to work on the hearts and minds of the people. That's a VGT (very good thing); hopefully, everyone will remember that we are supposed to be the Imago Christi in the world, and keep speaking the truth in love and not in anger.

Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people; from deceitful and unjust men deliver me! (Psa 43:1, RSV)