290 F.3d 1058 (9th Cir. 2002), 99-35320, Planned Parenthood of the Columbia/Willamette Inc. v. American Coalition of Life Activists
|Docket Nº:||99-35320, 99-35325, 99-35327, 99-35331, 99-35333, 99-35405.|
|Citation:||290 F.3d 1058|
|Party Name:||PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF THE COLUMBIA/WILLAMETTE, INC.; Portland Feminist Women's Health Center; Robert Crist, M.D.; Warren M. Hern, M.D.; Elizabeth Newhall, M.D.; James Newhall, M.D., Plaintiffs-Appellees, and Karen Sweigert, M.D., Plaintiff, v. AMERICAN COALITION OF LIFE ACTIVISTS; Advocates for Life Ministries; Michael Bray; Andrew Burnett; David A|
|Case Date:||May 16, 2002|
|Court:||United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit|
Argued and Submitted En Banc Dec. 11, 2001.
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
Christopher A. Ferrara, American Catholic Lawyers Ass'n Inc., Ramsey, NJ, for defendants-appellants Donald Treshman and Monica Migliorino Miller.
Stephen J. Safranek, Richard Thompson, and Edward L. White, III, Thomas More Center for Law & Justice, Ann Arbor, MI, for defendants-appellants American Coalition of Life Activists, Advocates for Life Ministries, Andrew Burnett, David Crane, Catherine Ramey, Michael Bray, and Dawn Stover.
Maria T. Vullo, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, New York, NY, for plaintiffs-appellees Planned Parenthood of the Columbia/Willamette, Inc., Portland Feminist Women's Health Center, Robert Crist, M.D., Warren Hern, M.D., Elizabeth P. Newhall, M.D., and James Newhall, M.D.
Robert M. O'Neil, for amicus curiae Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, Charlottesville, VA.
Paul deParrie, Portland, OR, amicus curiae pro se.
Michael H. Simon, Perkins Coie LLP, Portland, OR, for amicus curiae ACLU Foundation of Oregon, Inc.
Susan M. Popik, Chapman, Popik & White, San Francisco, CA, for amici curiae Feminist Majority Foundation, Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League and NARAL Foundation, National Abortion Federation, National Coalition of Abortion Providers, National Organization for Women Foundation, NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, National Women's Health Foundation, Northwest Women's Law Center, Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, and Women's Law Project.
Eliot D. Prescott and Jane R. Rosenberg, Assistant Attorneys General of Connecticut, for amici curiae Connecticut, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon and Washington.
Erwin Chemerinsky, University of Southern California Law School, Los Angeles, CA, for amici curiae Anti-Defamation League, The American Jewish Committee, Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, Inc.
William A. Norris, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P., Los Angeles, CA, for amicus American Medical Association.
Lawrence S. Lustberg, Gibbons, Del Deo, Dolan, Griffinger & Vecchione, Newark,
NJ, for amici curiae Senator Charles E. Schumer, et al.
Appeals from the United States District Court for the District of Oregon; Robert E. Jones, District Judge, Presiding. D.C. No. CV-95-01671-REJ (District of Oregon).
Before: SCHROEDER, Chief Judge, and REINHARDT, KOZINSKI, O'SCANNLAIN, RYMER, KLEINFELD, HAWKINS, SILVERMAN, WARDLAW, BERZON, and RAWLINSON, Circuit Judges.
Opinion by Judge RYMER; Dissent by Judge REINHARDT; Dissent by Judge KOZINSKI; Dissent by Judge BERZON.
RYMER, Circuit Judge.
For the first time we construe what the Freedom of Access to Clinics Entrances Act (FACE), 18 U.S.C. § 248, means by "threat of force." FACE gives aggrieved persons a right of action against whoever by "threat of force . . . intentionally . . . intimidates . . . any person because that person is or has been . . . providing reproductive health services." 18 U.S.C. § 248(a)(1) and (c)(1)(A). This requires that we define "threat of force" in a way that comports with the First Amendment, and it raises the question whether the conduct that occurred here falls within the category of unprotected speech.
Four physicians, Dr. Robert Crist, Dr. Warren M. Hern, Dr. Elizabeth Newhall, and Dr. James Newhall, and two health clinics that provide medical services to women including abortions, Planned Parenthood of the Columbia/Willamette, Inc. (PPCW) and the Portland Feminist Women's Health Center (PFWHC), brought suit under FACE 1 claiming that they were targeted with threats by the American Coalition of Life Activists (ACLA), Advocates for Life Ministries (ALM), and numerous individuals.2 Three threats remain at issue: the Deadly Dozen "GUILTY" poster which identifies Hern and the Newhalls among ten others; the Crist "GUILTY" poster with Crist's name, addresses and photograph; and the "Nuremberg Files," which is a compilation about those whom the ACLA anticipated one day might be put on trial for crimes against humanity. The "GUILTY" posters identifying specific physicians were circulated in the wake of a series of "WANTED" and "unWANTED" posters that had identified other doctors who performed abortions before they were murdered.
Although the posters do not contain a threat on their face, the district court held that context could be considered. It defined a threat under FACE in accordance with our "true threat" jurisprudence, as a statement made when "a reasonable person would foresee that the statement would be interpreted by those to whom the maker communicates the statement as a serious expression of intent to harm." Applying this definition, the court denied ACLA's motion for summary judgment in a published opinion. Planned Parenthood
of the Columbia/Willamette, Inc. v. ACLA (PPCW II), 23 F.Supp.2d 1182 (D.Or. 1998).3 The jury returned a verdict in physicians' favor, and the court enjoined ACLA from publishing the posters or providing other materials with the specific intent to threaten Crist, Hern, Elizabeth Newhall, James Newhall, PPCW, or the Health Center. Planned Parenthood of the Columbia/Willamette, Inc. v. ACLA (PPCW III), 41 F.Supp.2d 1130 (D.Or. 1999). ACLA timely appealed.
A panel of this court reversed. In its view, the standard adopted by the district court allowed the jury to find ACLA liable for putting the doctors in harm's way by singling them out for the attention of unrelated but violent third parties, conduct which is protected by the First Amendment, rather than for authorizing or directly threatening harm itself, which is not. Planned Parenthood of the Columbia/Willamette, Inc. v. ACLA (PPCW IV), 244 F.3d 1007 (9th Cir. ), reh'g en banc granted, 268 F.3d 908 (9th Cir. 2001). The panel decided that it should evaluate the record independently to determine whether ACLA's statements could reasonably be...
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