Joe Scheidler speaks to reporters after a Nov. 30, 2005 hearing at the Supreme Court [Photo by EJS]
On Wednesday, May 8 Judge David Coar entered final judgement in the long-running NOW v. Scheidler RICO case. This formally cleared League National Director Joe Scheidler of racketeering charges and nullified the national injunction imposed after the 1998 trial.
The move came more than 14 months after the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Scheidler’s favor. In 2003, the court overturned the jury trial decision against Scheidler in an 8-1 decision which the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals refused to implement. Scheidler returned to the Supreme Court in 2005 to request a more emphatic ruling, which was handed to him on February 28, 2006.
Scheidler No Longer a “Racketeer”
“I’ve waited twenty-one years for this news!” said Scheidler, in a press statement on the judgment. “I am no longer a federal racketeer.”
Scheidler credits his faithful attorney, Thomas J. Brejcha, for seeing this case through to a triumphant conclusion over its long 21-year history. Brejcha is lead counsel for the Thomas More Society Pro-Life Law Center, specializing in defending the rights of pro-life activists.
Scheidler remarked, “NOW and the abortion centers tried everything they could to stop us,” said Scheidler, “but in the past twenty-one years, hundreds of abortion providers have quit, over a thousand abortion clinics have closed, numbers of abortions have dropped significantly and public opinion has shifted to pro-life. We have won in every quarter. And our mission continues until abortion becomes history.”