An evenly divided U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has denied the government’s petition for an in banc rehearing on the controversial acquittal of two abortion clinic protesters in 1996.

By a vote of 6-6, the Second Circuit refused to hear in banc an argument on whether Southern District Judge John E. Sprizzo misapplied the facts and misread the law when he cleared protesters George Lynch and Christopher Moscinski on criminal contempt charges for blocking clinic access.

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