Justices: Abortion Clinic Buffer Zone Violates First Amendment

, The National Law Journal


Citing the First Amendment, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously strikes down Massachusetts' 35-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics.

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What's being said

  • Avon

    Just as different Justices surely have slightly different reasons for joining Roberts‘ opinion, different Massachusetts legislators may validly differ in their reasons to have enacted the statute. And, face it, these plaintiffs would not have sued for free speech if the sidewalk wasn‘t their chance to intervene in people‘s choice of abortion.
    Both sides have their position on abortion for their real motive, and then they have their Constitutional position for the court.

    I want to know if there were dissenters at the SCOTUS! Every article reporting a decision should say if its unanimous.
    I‘m thinking that Alito (alone) dissented from the decision a couple of years ago upholding the right to yell anti-gay slurs at strangers‘ military funerals. How could he join Roberts‘ opinion with a straight face, given that the purpose of the lawsuit was to pressure if not outright harass women who might (or might not) be arriving for abortions - a moment surely as emotional as a funeral.

  • melahojo

    Richard -- the writer is probably referencing the commonwealth‘s proffered reason for enacting the law. That‘s probably what the commonwealth argued was its legitimate state interest. Relax.

  • Richard Roland

    Is this an article or an editorial? When you speak of "states‘ attempts to prevent violence or disturbances around abortion-clinic entrances", you are not reporting, but offering an opinion. You have no way to read the minds of the legislators who enacted the statute. They could as easily have been intent precisely on preventing speech with which they personally disagree as on preventing violence or disturbances.

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