RICO Suave


There's been another crushing defeat for abortion rights in the Supreme Court, only not really. Today's decision holding RICO laws inapplicable to anti-abortion protesters seems to have less to do with privacy (or even free expression) than with property. Judging from what the news article says, the court decided the issue on an esoteric and thoroughly uninteresting consideration of what it means to "obtain" a piece of property, concluding that the chaotic undertakings of Operation Rescue don't amount to obtaining for the purposes of RICO. The lone dissenter complained about the ruling's effects on property rights.

This, I'm afraid, is another example of how property law quite pretentiously insists on being interesting, in this case being the controlling factor in a hot political battle.

As for precedential value, I think the ruling means that if you and your friends get dressed up as Vikings and take over a local place of business, you can be charged with all kinds of crimes, but racketeering is not among them (I mean, how could it be?). Nor will you be subject to any kinds of injunctions preventing you from dressing like a Viking and taking over businesses in the future.

Quite predictably, the National Organization for Women is treating the ruling as a direct attack on women's rights as opposed to a near-unanimous application of law. They applaud Justice Stevens' dissent, ignoring the fact that he was also more concerned with the property rights of business owners than with reproductive freedom.

Happy interfering, everyone.


today i was waiting for a bus and this truck went by with a huge billboard painting on the side of fetuses (fetii?) it was bizarre mainly because this one disembodied hand was clutching a dime. to me this did not make sense. plus, bloody fetuseseses on the side of a bus. it was kind of off-putting really.

I think the ad was making a statement that the bus, a newly remodeled JR-200, could stop on a dime. The fetuses were just there to get your attention.

holohan, this post is confusing. I didn't read any of these links you have and I don't know anything about the law and I skipped some of your sentences based on a complex system I implement when reading on alternate fridays. so how do you expect anyone to understand this stuff?

p.s. more fought the law comics. comics are easy to get, and come in primary colors like sesame street and jesus.

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This page contains a single entry by hb published on February 26, 2003 1:28 PM.

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