To: National Desk
Contacts: Joe Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League, 773-777-2900
Thomas Brejcha of the Thomas More Society, 312-782-1680 and 312-590-3408
Chicago, March 16—”We thought an 8-1 victory in the Supreme Court was a slam-dunk,” said Joseph M. Scheidler, National Director of the Pro-Life Action League, a Chicago-based pro-life activist organization. “Then NOW’s lawyers came up with an outrageous misreading of the Supreme Court’s Opinion, claiming the Court did not mean what they clearly said.”
Today Scheidler and the Pro-Life Action League filed a Petition with the United States Supreme Court, asking the Court to clear up the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals’ misinterpretation of the 8-1 ruling in NOW v. Scheidler, issued over two years ago. Thomas Brejcha, chief counsel at the Thomas More Society, Pro-Life Law Center in Chicago, and Alan Untereiner and Roy Englert, Jr. of Robbins, Russell, Englert, Orseck & Untereiner, of Washington, D.C., are representing the Petitioners.
The Supreme Court Opinion, written by Chief Justice William Rehnquist, flatly stated, “The judgment that petitioners violated RICO must be reversed . . . the injunction must necessarily be vacated.”
Yet Fay Clayton, and Lowell Sachnoff, attorneys for the National Organization for Women and the nation’s abortion providers, asked the Seventh Circuit to keep the case alive based on four alleged predicate acts that they think the Supreme Court overlooked, even though the Court said that “all” predicate acts “must be reversed.”
“Incredibly, the Seventh Circuit bought her argument,” said Scheidler, “and has directed the District Court to consider NOW’s claim.”
The Seventh Circuit three-judge panel had ruled in Clayton’s and Sachnoff’s favor on February 26, 2004, exactly one year to the day after the Supreme Court’s 8-1 ruling in favor of the pro-lifers. On January 28, 2005, the Seventh Circuit denied Scheidler’s petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc with three judges dissenting.
“We are asking the Supreme Court to settle the relevant issues of the proper interpretation of the Hobbs Act and the persistent question of whether a private party (NOW) is entitled under RICO to win a nationwide injunction, as granted by Judge David Coar in the NOW v. Scheidler case,” said chief counsel Brejcha.
“This case is now nearing its twentieth year,” said Scheidler. “It’s time to end it. We won. NOW lost. We are confident the Supreme Court will confirm its original 8-1 ruling in our favor.”