Scheidler/Operation Rescue Vindicated
Washington, DC — The United States Supreme Court issued an unanimous ruling today finally clearing pro-life protesters of a 20-year old suit brought by NOW under the Federal Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) laws. Joseph Scheidler, a long-time pro-life activist from Chicago, took the lead in defending the case on behalf of over 20 defendants, including Operation Rescue.
In an historic third trip to the nation’s highest court, Justice Stephen Breyer issued the unanimous opinion clearly stating that the case is over and that pro-lifers may not be sued under RICO. This decision also puts an end to a nationwide injunction against the protesters.
“We are very excited to finally see this case put behind us once and for all,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “This is a victory not only for pro-lifers, who can now exercise their First Amendment rights to speak out about abortion without fear of a RICO suit, but it is also a victory for the women and babies who are entering our nation’s abortion mills, who now will have greater access to more information and practical assistance that can help them spare the lives of their pre-born children.”
“This is a victory that is a long time in coming, but whose arrival was never in doubt,” said Rev. Patrick Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition. “Every American owes Joe Scheidler a debt of gratitude for fighting this battle over two decades to preserve freedoms for all Americans.”