The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals heard arguments en banc Tuesday for Planned Parenthood of Columbia/Willamette, et al. v. American Coalition of Life Activists (ACLA), et al., also known as the “Nuremberg Files” case. The Feminist Majority Foundation, along with several reproductive rights groups, filed an amicus brief urging that the Ninth Circuit re-hear the case en banc after a three-judge panel reversed a jury decision that found ACLA liable for threats of violence under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). The American Medical Association and 43 members of Congress also filed other amicus briefs supporting a re-hearing.
In 1999, the court previously ruled that “WANTED” posters and Internet sites targeting and threatening doctors were “true threats” and not protected free speech by the U.S. Constitution. As a result, the jury awarded plaintiffs a $107.5 million judgment. Then, in March 2001, a three-judge panel reversed that determination claiming that the First Amendment protected ACLA’s actions.