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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

"Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court..."

I haven't written much about the Scheidler v. NOW case, which is "that other case" being argued this morning before Ayotte, because just about all one could say about it was said back in June in this post, and then -- in response to NOW President Kim Gandy's temper tantrum over our first post -- this little follow-up.

What's happened in the interim? Well, this time out NOW has placed its hopes in Duke Law professor (and best friend to BarBri students who find themselves a little short in the Constitutional Law department) Erwin Chemerinsky, who authored their brief on the merits and will argue their side today. And their argument has morphed a bit sice the cert brief, most noteably in NOW's recent concession that Chief Justice Rehnquist's 2003 opinion for the 8-1 majority in Scheidler II did, in fact, mean that all the predicate acts supporting the RICO finding must be reversed, etc., etc. Now the crux of their argument is that the Supreme Court messed up last time and needs to reverse itself and go on to a Hobbs Act analysis, then a RICO injunction analysis, and finally reach a result 180-degrees from the result reached in 2003.

Unfortunately for NOW, while Professor Chemerinsky is wonderful at explaining Con Law in a way even the most clueless law student can understand, he's not often on the right side of constitutional debates. But given his track record arguing thankless liberal cases before the Supreme Court it's safe to assume he's become accustomed to disappointment and will survive a loss in Scheidler III as well.

I'll be at the argument (and likely will stay for Ayotte), but will try (almost)liveblogging as soon as things wrap up with some initial thoughts on how things went. Hopefully the little Palm OS app I installed today will work. Oh, and don't worry...I've brought my hard hat to wear as I walk under the facade of the courthouse!

Send an Ave Maria up right about 10:00 am EST, if you would, for the families of Joe Scheidler and his co-defendants, and for the unborn children who give meaning to the 20-year ordeal NOW has put them through.

UPDATE: Chemerinsky got spanked by the Supremes. The liberal justices were most talkative. Scalia was right on and even Roberts, CJ got in on the action. More later. By the way, Chemerinsky does write a nice conlaw book.