RICO and FACE Warning Will



Warning Will Robinson! Warning!

There is much right and proper rejoicing about the Supreme court rescinding an earlier ruling that subjects political speech to prosecution by RICO. HOWEVER, keep in mind that FACE (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances) passed 8 years after the case that was just overturned, grants the same penalties, the same criminal record, and the same onus as RICO. Only FACE is focused entirely on Abortion Clinics and protesters--no need to prove injury, no need to prove anything. Step inside the magic circle and you're in violation. I don't know if FACE has been tested in court , but I doubt that it would be overturned on a first amendment ruling. So, while RICO is a triumph for first amendment rights of political speech, it is not the tremendous pro-life victory so many think it is. We are still muzzled, and more than muzzled, I believe FACE sets something like a 150 foot "clearance zone" around a clinic entrance.

So those who were thinking about getting out the pickets, rein in your enthusiasm. We haven't won yet.

Note: Entry Corrected thanks to comments at The Mighty Barrister--thanks Barrister

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on February 26, 2003 6:40 PM.

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