The Supreme Court has rejected for the third time an appeal by anti-abortion activists to undo a multimillion-dollar verdict for their use of "wanted" posters to identify abortion clinic doctors.
The justices did not comment Monday in turning down a dozen individuals and two groups that oppose abortion rights. The court turned down similar appeals in 2003 and 2006.
Four physicians and abortion clinics sued in 1995 after the activists released a Wild West-style poster that named a dozen abortion doctors underneath the headline, "Wanted." A related Web site, titled the "Nuremberg Files," declared the doctors guilty of crimes against humanity, and listed their addresses and telephone numbers.
In 1999, a jury awarded the doctors and clinics more than $100 million under racketeering laws and a 1994 federal law that makes it illegal to incite violence against abortion doctors. Courts reduced the judgment to more than $16 million.
The activists say the verdict violated their free speech rights under the Constitution.