DWHODelaware Women's Health Organization
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Finally, while RICO requires a minimum of two related predicate acts, from its formation in 1984 until the trial in 1998, the defendants conducted PLAN through a pattern of hundreds, if not thousands, of these acts.(69) Two early examples--in fact the two incidents that led the plaintiffs to file this lawsuit--were committed against the original lead plaintiff clinics, DWHO and the Ladies' Center.
In April 1986, shortly after several clinics had been bombed, Scheidler and three other large, burly PLAN activists paid a visit on DWHO.(70) The clinic administrator--a petite, young woman--was there alone, and the intruders positioned themselves in such a way that they prevented her escape.(71) She asked them to leave, but they refused.(72) One of these men reached over the reception desk, commandeered the telephones and put them on hold, effectively cutting the clinic administrator off from the outside world.(73) Once they had her trapped, they warned her that they were there to "case the place," to make "Delaware ...
Scheidler class action was filed in 1986, but due to a series of motions by the defendants asking the court to delay ruling on class certification, the classes were not certified until eleven years later, in 1997.(82) In addition to its role as class representative, NOW also represented its members.(83) The two clinics, Summit and DWHO, were certified as representatives of all clinics in the continental United States that provide abortions.(84) DWHO and Summit (and originally the Pensacola Ladies' Center) sought damages and an injunction, while NOW, representing both its members and nonmember women, sought only an injunction.(85)
After finding that RICO requires an economic motive, the court of appeals rejected petitioners' arguments that the increased costs to the clinics as a result of the protesters' actions satisfied the economic requirement.(146) The court "refuse[d] to equate [economic] effect with the economic motive required."(147) The court also found that the contributions PLAN received incidentally from its actions did not show that PLAN had an economic motive.(148) Moreover, the court of appeals concurred with the district court's disposition of the [sections][sections] 1962(a) and (d) RICO claims.(149) NOW, DWHO, and SWHO, appealed.
Writing for a unanimous Court, Chief Justice Rehnquist concluded that RICO does not require proof that "the racketeering enterprise or the predicate acts of racketeering were motivated by an economic purpose."(152) The majority found that neither the language of RICO nor its legislative history requires an economic motive.(153) Therefore, the Court concluded that DWHO and SWHO may maintain their RICO claims if the protesters "conducted the enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity."(154)
In support of this allegation, DWHO and SWHO claimed that the protesters "conspired to use threatened or actual force, violence or fear to induce clinic employees, doctors, and patients to give up their jobs, give up their economic right to practice medicine, and give up their right to obtain medical services at the clinics." NOW, 114 S.