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First Amendment Library:
Fay Clayton


Three women's organizations sued various pro-life groups under RICO, alleging that the groups were conspiring to close abortion clinics through a pattern of racketeering activity, including extortion. The district court dismissed the case, holding that RICO could be used only against "profit-generating" enterprises. The Court of Appeals affirmed. RICO, among other things, prohibits a person from participating in a pattern of racketeering. 18 U.S.C. _ 1962(c). "Racketeering activity" is broadly defined in RICO to include extortion, bribery, fraud, and other crimes. 18 U.S.C. _ 1961(1). RICO is silent as to whether the racketeering must be motivated by profit.