Despite High Court Ruling, NOW v. Scheidler Lives on in Lower Court

Exclusive to Pro-Life/Christian Media
Contact: Joe Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League, 773-777-2900, info@prolifeaction.org

Chicago, Feb. 1—”It is a mystery to me that we can win 8-1 in the Supreme Court, the highest Court in the land, and a lower court can effectively reverse that high court’s ruling,” said Joseph M. Scheidler, National Director of the Pro-Life Action League.

Scheidler’s remarks came in response to the Friday, January 28 decision of the Seventh Circuit Federal Court of Appeals in Chicago to refuse the Pro-Life Action League’s Petition for re-hearing en banc in the nineteen-year-old RICO case, NOW v. Scheidler. The League petitioned the Seventh Circuit nearly a year ago when the Court issued an unpublished Opinion on February 26, 2004, remanding the case to the District Court.

Joe Scheidler and the Pro-Life Action League won an 8-1 victory in the United States Supreme Court on February 26, 2003, overturning the District Court and the Seventh Circuit opinions in this lengthy lawsuit. The U.S. Supreme Court found that the pro-lifers had not committed RICO violations.

The Court flatly 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.” The Court went on to specify, “Without an underlying RICO violation, the injunction issued by the District Court must necessarily be vacated.”

In the Seventh Circuit’s Opinion, Judge Diane Wood adopted NOW attorney Fay Clayton’s theory that the Supreme Court had failed to rule on “four predicate acts” that Clayton thought she had found in the jury’s 1998 findings and that she thinks are sufficient to support the nationwide injunction issued by Judge David Coar on July 16, 1999. That injunction remains in force despite the 8-1 ruling by the Supreme Court, that normally would reverse the lower courts’ rulings.

Attorneys for Joe Scheidler and the Pro-Life Action League plan to appeal to the U. S. Supreme Court for a final ruling on the issues that seem to cloud the Seventh Circuit’s judicial mind.

Share Tweet Email