Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Scheidler v. NOW

Today was the biggest day thus far in Joe Scheidler’s 20-year court battle with pro-abortion forces. For the third time, oral hearings in the NOW v. Scheidler case were heard at the U.S. Supreme Court.

High Court Hears Scheidler v. NOW

As Joe Scheidler noted in the previous hotline, the Court will decide on three questions:

  • whether the Seventh Circuit disregarded the Supreme Court mandate to reverse the judgment in our RICO case;
  • whether RICO‘s so-called crimes can be read as broadly as NOW proposes; and
  • whether a private party like NOW is entitled to a federal injunction.

Alan Untereiner argued today on Scheidler’s behalf, and did so brilliantly. Lisa Blatt from the office of the Solicitor General also argued persuasively for the pro-life petitioners.

The nine justices asked several questions of both sides, and in the Scheidlers’ opinion, the most pointed, challenging ones were directed toward Irwin Chemerinsky, who argued on NOW’s behalf.

Toward the end of the hearing, Justice Antonin Scalia referred to the Supreme Court’s previous ruling, which stated, “Because all of the predicate acts supporting the jury’s finding of a RICO violation must be reversed, the judgment that petitioners violated RICO must also be reversed.”

Addressing Chemerinsky, Scalia asked, “When the Court said ‘reversed,’ did it really mean ‘remanded’?” Scalia also asked Chemerinsky if “all” really meant “all”. Chemerinsky replied, “It depends on the meaning of the word ‘all.'” You would think that after Bill Clinton’s futile attempt at hairsplitting over the meaning of the word “is,” liberals would know better.

Needless to say, Untereiner was upbeat after the hearing—he’s optimistic enough to think that even John Paul Stevens, the lone dissenter in Scheidler’s 8-1 victory two years ago, may even vote against NOW this time.

Today’s court hearing comes down to this, as Joe Scheidler noted in the previous hotline: “NOW’s lawyers don’t think the Supreme Court meant what it said in ruling that the judgment must be reversed. We think they meant what they said, and that they will say it again.”

After today’s hearing, pro-life activists have good reason to be hopeful for a victory in the offing.

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