When the Supreme Court ruled 8-1 on February 26, 2003, in favor of the Scheidler petitioners, it was logical to think the seventeen-year ordeal was finally over. But, not quite.
Lead attorney Tom Brejcha remarked on Fay Clayton’s appellate court shenanigans during the Celebration Banquet, where he was awarded the Protector Award for his seventeen years on the case [Photo by Danita Covington]
There is a legal procedure in which the case is sent by the Supreme Court down to the Court of Appeals and then on to the District Court to carry out the Supreme Court’s mandate to reverse the judgment and vacate the injunction.
On April 18, both sides submitted to the Court of Appeals the required statement as to what action we wanted the District Court to take. Naturally we requested that Judge Coar be directed to reverse his judgment and vacate his injunction. Fay Clayton’s statement requested that Judge Coar be directed to decide whether there were still four acts or threats of physical violence to persons or property that could substantiate the jury finding and the injunction. The Appellate Court has not moved on either request.
On Monday, April 21, we were notified that we were to attend a mandatory settlement conference. We were taken aback, since we knew we were the victors. So what was there to settle? The mandatory conference was held on May 15. The proceedings are confidential, but suffice it to say that nothing was settled.
We are still waiting for the Supreme Court’s Opinion to be put into action. In the meantime, Fay Clayton is taking every opportunity to claim that NOW did not actually lose the case and to assure the abortion proponents that there are plenty of other legal avenues they can use to squelch pro-life activities.
The bond, consisting of the Scheidler home and $70,000 in borrowed cash, remains held by the Court. In fact the cash sits in a bank account of Fay Clayton’s law firm, Robinson, Curly and Clayton. Four months after the victory in the United States Supreme Court, we are still tangled up in legal proceedings and the machinations of the abortion forces.
Nevertheless, the words of Justice William Rehnquist’s eight-judge majority opinion leave no doubt about the ultimate end of Fay Clayton’s stall-tactics: “the judgement that the petitioners violated RICO must . . . be reversed” and “the injunction issued by the District Court must necessarily be vacated.”
Links and Related Articles
- Pro-Life Activists Celebrate Victory—Our June 7 “Bring America Back to Life” rally, workshops and banguet
- Why We Celebrate—Defending our celebrating a victory even as Clayton continues to stir up trouble
- Victory Day—April 2003 Action News article by Ann Scheidler describing the day we won NOW v. Scheidler
- NOW v Scheidler Main Page on this site