ACLJ To Protect Free Speech of Pro-Life Demonstrators

Crossposted from Stop The ACLU

(Washington, DC) - The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), specializing in constitutional law, said today it is pleased that the Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to take a case involving the use of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute against pro-life demonstrators – a case that the Supreme Court tackled two years ago and at that time determined RICO could not be used against demonstrators. The case was kept alive after the 2003 decision by the National Organization for Women (NOW). The ACLJ represents Operation Rescue (OR) in the case and is hopeful the high court will settle this issue once and for all.

“We’re pleased that the Supreme Court has agreed to take this case and has a critically important opportunity to remove a dark cloud that has been hanging over the pro-life movement for nearly 20 years,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ, who served as Counsel of Record for Operation Rescue in the 2003 case and represents OR in this case. “The high court acted correctly two years ago in determining that RICO could not be used against the pro-life demonstrators in this case. By taking this case now, we are hopeful the high court will move to vindicate these pro-life demonstrators once and for all. It is an important case that puts the issue of abortion front and center at a time when the make-up of the court could very well change before this case is argued next term.”

The Supreme Court ended the RICO case in 2003 when by a vote of 8-to-1 the high court ruled that merely obstructing the operations of a business, without obtaining any money or other property, was not “extortion.” The high court concluded that “all of the predicate acts [under RICO] must be reversed,” that “the judgment that [defendants] violated RICO must also be reversed,” and that “the injunction . . . must necessarily be vacated.” When the case returned to the 7th Circuit, ACLJ attorneys asked that the case be sent back to the district court with instructions to enter judgment in favor of the defendants. NOW, however, argued that despite the Supreme Court ruling, the RICO case was still alive and the injunction should remain in effect. The appeals court agreed with that argument and the ACLJ filed a petition asking the high court to take the case.

The case has attracted the notable support of amici curiae (friends of the court) across the political spectrum.ACLJ

Note: None of these amici curiae briefs were filed by the ACLU, the supposed protector of free speech. As a matter of fact, they have been active in encouraging these RICO lawsuits in the past.
The ACLU is nominally opposed to the RICO statute, and there are some senior members, like Washington official Antonio Califa, who are truly opposed to the invocation of RICO against any protesters, including opponents of abortion. However, due largely to the influence of Benshoof, the ACLU’s record is grievously stained in this area.Twilight of Liberty

It was actually her suggestion in a booklet titled, “Preserving the Right to Choose: How to Cope with Violence and Disruption at Abortion Clinics.” The ACLU would not tolerate the use of RICO against nuclear weapons dissidents, but in the case of anti-abortion protesters the matter is quite different. In fact, the ACLU has actually used the RICO against them. When pro-life demonstrators were sued under RICO in Philadelphia, the local chapter of the ACLU filed an amicus brief on behalf of the plaintiffs, the Northeast Women’s Center.




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