Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The Wheels of Justice Grind Slowly...

but they grind exceedingly fine. Just ask Joseph Scheidler.

After twenty-one years and three trips to the Supreme Court, a federal district judge in the Northern District of Illinois has entered a final judgment (hat tip to Howard Bashman) in National Organization for Women v. Scheidler, et. al., vacating awards of over $250,000 and permanent nationwide injunctions against individuals and organizations (Operation Rescue and the Pro-Life Action League) who protested at abortion clinics. The case began over two decades ago when NOW filed its complaint arguing that the anti-abortion protests violated the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). In February 2006 the Supreme Court had finally foreclosed that argument by an 8-0 vote (newly seated Justice Alito did not participate). Scheidler v. NOW (III), 547 U.S. 9 (2006).

Despite having fought the case since the time when Ronald Reagan was meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev in Iceland, Lindsey Lohan was among the unborn, and Bill Buckner was still a well-loved Red Sox first baseman, NOW now seems to think its loss is really not a big deal. Others, of course, disagree.