An eight-member jury will begin deliberations today on a 1995 suit filed by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, a women’s clinic, and five doctors against creators of the “Nuremberg Files” Web site.
The plaintiffs have charged the creators of the Web site with violating the 1994 Freedom of Access to Clinics Act, which made blockading or commit violence against women’s health care clinics and workers a felony offense. Lawyers for the plaintiffs argued that the online materials constitute terrorism and encourage the murder of abortion providers. The trial marks the first time that FACE has been used to try threats of violence, rather than actual physical confrontations.
The Nuremberg Files Web site, at http://www.christiangallery.com/atrocity/, publishes highly sensitive information on individuals it deems guilty of “crimes against humanity,” including their names, addresses, social security numbers and license plate numbers. The site even goes so far as to list the names and birth dates of the spouses and children of targeted individuals, and pictures of targeted individuals’ homes, cars, workplaces, and friends.
In a virtual “hit list” of targeted individuals that includes abortion providers, security officers who protect abortion clinics, pro-choice activists, clinic owners, clinic workers, pro-choice judges and politicians, the names of murdered individuals are crossed out with a line, and the names of the wounded are shaded in gray.
The defense argued that since the site didn’t say “murder abortionists,” it was constitutionally protected speech.