(Cincinnati, OH) Feb 26, 2003 – Life Issues Institute was pleased to hear that the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a federal racketeering law was improperly used to punish pro-life protesters.
In the 8-1 ruling, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, writing for the majority, said, “Even when their acts of interference and disruption achieved their ultimate goal of ‘shutting down’ a clinic that performed abortions, such acts did not constitute extortion.”
The protesters were sued in 1986 by abortion clinics in Delaware and Wisconsin, and by the National Organization for Women. The organizations claimed that racketeering and extortion laws should protect businesses from violent protests that drive away clients.
The court’s ruling is a major victory for Joseph Scheidler, Operation Rescue, and others who were ordered to pay damages of about $258,000 to abortion clinics.
Dr. Willke, President of Life Issues Institute, was especially pleased, as he had testified on behalf of Mr. Scheidler for one-and-a-half days during the initial trial. “This was primarily a harassment suit designed to put Mr. Scheidler and his organization out of business. Justice has been served,” Willke said.
About Life Issues Institute: Life Issues Institute is dedicated to changing hearts and minds of millions of people through education, the foundation for pro-life political and legislative victories. The pro-life movement, around the world, depends upon Life Issues Institute to provide the latest information and effective tools to protect innocent human life from womb to tomb.