Racketeering laws can’t be used against anti-abortionists


The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that racketeering laws cannot be used against anti-abortion groups using violence and intimidation as tactics.

By an 8-1 vote, the high court said in an opinion by Chief Justice William Rehnquist the judgment that the anti-abortion activists had violated the racketeering laws must be reversed.

The civil lawsuit against Operation Rescue, the Pro-Life Action League and three of the league’s leaders was brought by the National Organization for Women and others. At issue were tactics that included violent demonstrations to block access to clinics.

This is yet another miserable example of the courts engaging in social engineering. What does it say about the U.S. judicial system, whereby judges are appointed by the administration in power and make decisions in line with the party who appointed them?

If violence and intimidation are being used on a case-by-case basis, the perpetrators should be prosecuted for those crimes. But when these tactics are being used on an organized, planned basis across a country, then individual prosecutions are no longer sufficient. That was the intention of racketeering laws (usually used against organized crime organizations such as the Mafia) – to prevent wide-scale use of threats and intimidation to coerce people or businesses into closing or committing illegalities.

Apparently, women seeking abortions – or doctors performing the service – aren’t seen as deserving of these protections, according to the Supreme Court. Disgusting.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 jaws 02.27.03 at 1:00 PM

All the court said was that these people couldn’t be charged under RICO; although, they can still be prosecuted (granted on a much “smaller level”


2 jaws 02.27.03 at 4:24 PM

Also, as suprising as it sounds, I heard on the news that pro-choice groups filed amacus briefs agreeing with the pro-lifers (on the merits of the issue)….go figure….


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