Federal Court Hears Appeal in ‘Nuremberg Files’ Case

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last week heard an appeal by anti-abortion groups in the “Nuremberg Files” case. The case, American Coalition of Life Activists v. Planned Parenthood, originated as a suit filed in 1999 by Planned Parenthood of Oregon and four Oregon doctors listed on WANTED-style posters on the Nuremberg Files website against 13 anti-abortion extremists and the anti-abortion groups American Coalition of Life Activists and Advocates for Life Ministries.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had previously ruled that the extremists were liable for threats under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE), and a jury had awarded the plaintiffs $107.5 million. In 2003, the US Supreme Court let the Ninth Circuit’s ruling stand. However, the defendants in the case are arguing that other recent Supreme Court decisions, including NOW v. Scheidler, have changed the definition of what constitutes a threat of violence, according to the Associated Press.

Maria Vullo, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, said that the anti-abortion defendants have been “refiling the case over and over again,” but she does not “believe that the court…is accepting their efforts to relitigate the case,” AP reports.

The Feminist Majority Foundation filed the major amicus brief on clinic violence in the case.

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Associated Press 7/13/05; Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report 7/14/05

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