Justice Delayed at June 22 NOW v Scheidler Hearing

Sore loser Fay Clayton at Nov 30, 2005 SCOTUS arguments [Photo by EJS]

Joe Scheidler and his legal team appeared again before federal district Judge David Coar on June 22 hoping against hope that judgement would finally be entered ending the NOW v. Scheidler RICO case, now in its twenty-first year. Though disappointed, they were not surprised when that hearing yeilded nothing but delay.

NOW attorney Fay Clayton is disputing several issues, despite her decisive 2003 and 2006 defeats in the Supreme Court. Clayton insists that her abortion clinic clients need not be informed when the court’s 1999 injunction is no longer in force, going so far as to claim that they are not longer a “class” now that the suit they brought has failed. She is also refusing to indicate which abortion facilities she represents; Scheidler has never learned which facilities originally opted out of the class before the 1997 trial.

Also disputed is how the final judgement will affect Randal Terry’s 1997 settlement with NOW. Since the 2003 and 2006 Supreme Court decisions gutted NOW’s case, the pro-life attorneys are arguing that the Terry settlement must now be set aside, while Clayton is seeking to keep it in force.

Clayton’s Stall Tactics

Scheidler had appeared before Judge Coar on June 8 believing that judgement would be enetered in his favor, as was ordered by the Supreme Court of the United States. Clayton on that date secured from Judge Coar a continuance until June 22.

At the June 22 hearing, Judge Coar said he would take all of these matters under advisement, but set no firm date for any further hearings on the case. At this point, NOW’s strategy seems to be to delay settlement of the case at all costs, using whatever stall tactics Clayton can contrive.

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