Saint Thomas More
President and Chief Counsel Christopher A. Fe=a, Esq.
Vice-President and Associate
T'hornas F. Portelli, Esq.
50 SOUTH FRANKLIN TPK., SUITE I
PO Box 277
RAMSEY, NEW JERSEY 07446
TELEPHONE (201) 236-1799
FACSIMILE (201) 236-3965
November 22, 2000
West Coast Litigation Counsel
Jarnes M. Bendell
Gerald Christian Matatics
Msgr. Charles T. Moss Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J. Fr. Williarn F. Ashley Fr. Ignacio Barreiro Fr. John A. Perricone
Dear Fellow Catholic:
I have some very encouraging news for you and with it, a request for intense prayers.
On September 12, 2000 I appeared before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Portland, Oregon to argue for a reversal of the atrocious $107
million verdict against the pro-life activists this Association is-defending in the case of Planned Parenthood, etc. v. American Coalition of Life Activists, et al..
You may recall from our previous newsletters that this case involves what even liberal commentators regard as a serious threat to freedom of speech: the use of the federal racketeering statute (RICO) and the Freedom of Access to Clinics Entrances Act (FACE) to turn political @)rotest lposters condemning abortionists by name into "'threats"punishable by a massive damage award -- and an injunction that
!ail for simply saying the 'wrona thinas" about a named abortionist.
I am delighted to tell you that the panel of Ninth Circuit judges spent more than an hour-an extraordinary amount of time-asking very probing questions of Planned Parenthood's attorney about the serious First Amendment issues involved in thi:s case. It was clear that Planned Parenthood's lawyer did not have the answers the Court was looking for.
For example, at one point a panelist chided her for being evasive and not answering the specific question being posed to her. The panel wanted to know if there was any case in American jurisprudence in which the mere publication of information about a person was deemed a threat. She had no answer, but kept referring to other cases which have no bearing on this case.
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