Loading
Pro-life organization wins another round in decades-long legal case
Pro-life supporters sing carols outside an abortion clinic, December 2011. Credit: Pro-Life Action League.
Pro-life supporters sing carols outside an abortion clinic, December 2011. Credit: Pro-Life Action League.
By Adelaide Mena
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- A panel of federal judges unanimously ruled last week to protect the Pro-Life Action League’s ability to recover the costs of a 28-year legal struggle against the National Organization for Women.

The decision assures the pro-life group’s claim to over $60,000 in awards.

"Today we celebrate a long-awaited, hopefully final victory for millions of pro-lifers here and around the country," said Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society in an April 30 statement.

“After nearly 28 years of litigating and three trips to the U.S. Supreme Court, we are proud to declare that pro-lifers' First Amendment rights to free speech and association are once again secure and protected by law.”

The case, N.O.W. v. Scheidler, opened in 1986 when the National Organization for Women and two Delaware abortion clinics filed suit against Joseph Scheidler, Andrew Scholberg, Timothy Murphy, and the Chicago-based Pro-Life Action League. The organization alleged that the pro-life activists violated federal anti-trust and interfered with interstate commerce by trying to shut down abortion clinics.

 "The abortion plaintiffs had been claiming that the heroic leaders whom we defended were leaders of a vast nationwide conspiracy comprising as many as a million members,” said Brejcha of the long legal battle’s claims.

These charges, he continued to explain, put “a black cloud over pro-life efforts to advocate against abortion as if these efforts to save human lives were some horrific enterprise bent on 'extortion' and 'racketeering.'”

After nearly three decades of litigation and three oral arguments before the Supreme Court, the case was dismissed by an 8-0 vote on its merits.  Afterward, the Pro-Life Action League and other defendants filed suit in order to recover legal costs from the lengthy legal battle.

The pro-life activists were awarded most of the $70,000 in legal fees they sought in May 2013; however, N.O.W. appealed the decision to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

After hearing arguments on April 19, 2014, the three judges of the 7th circuit appellate court ruled unanimously in favor of the Pro-Life Action League and the other defendant’s claim to the restitution of legal fees in an April 29 opinion.

Judge Frank Easterbrook, who wrote the court’s opinion, called the pro-life activist’s claims "modest for a suit that entailed discovery, a long trial, many motions in the district court, and appellate proceedings that span a generation," dismissing the abortion group’s suit and struggle to not pay the fees as “preposterous.”

 "This litigation has lasted far too long,” Judge Easterbrook wrote.

 “At last it is over."

Tags: National Organization for Women, Pro-Life Action League

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
Dec
19

Liturgical Calendar

December 19, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Gospel
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Judg 13: 2-7, 24-25A
Gospel:: Lk 1: 5-25

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
12/15/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Homily
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14