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Thread: Supreme Court Strikes Down Buffer Zones For Abortion Clinic Protests

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    Supreme Court Strikes Down Buffer Zones For Abortion Clinic Protests

    The Supreme Court ruled on McCullen v. Coakley Thursday, striking down a Massachusetts law requiring protesters to stay at least 35 feet from an abortion clinic's entrance and walkways.In a unanimous opinion, the court held that such buffer zones violate First Amendment free speech rights.
    Chief Justice Roberts delivered the opinion of the court. "It is no accident that public streets and sidewalks have developed as venues for the exchange of ideas," Roberts said. "Even today, they remain one of the few places where a speaker can be confident that he is not simply preaching to the choir. With respect to other means of communication, an individual confronted with an uncomfortable message can always turn the page, change the channel, or leave the Web site."
    "Thus, even though the Act says nothing about speech on its face, there is no doubt—and respondents do not dis*pute—that it restricts access to traditional public fora and is therefore subject to First Amendment scrutiny," Roberts said.
    Eleanor McCullen, the lead plaintiff in the case, is a member of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue who argued the buffer zone violates her First Amendment right to free speech. "It's America," she told NPR earlier this year. "I should be able to walk and talk gently, lovingly, anywhere with anybody."
    But abortion clinic escorts, owners and patient advocates claim the protesters that surround clinics on a daily basis and try to follow patients up to the door are anything but gentle. Roxanne Sutocky, a patient advocate at an abortion clinic in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, told The Huffington Post that she has had to coach numerous terrified patients through their walk past the protesters into the clinic.


    Read more @: Supreme Court Strikes Down Buffer Zones For Abortion Clinic Protests

    In my opinion this is the correct decision. Protestors have the right to peacefully assemble on public spaces even if its over a really touchy subject such as abortion. There should be no "buffer zones" where people are not allowed to practice their right to free speech inside that "buffer zone".


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    Re: Supreme Court Strikes Down Buffer Zones For Abortion Clinic Protests

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemSocialist View Post
    Read more @: Supreme Court Strikes Down Buffer Zones For Abortion Clinic Protests

    In my opinion this is the correct decision. Protestors have the right to peacefully assemble on public spaces even if its over a really touchy subject such as abortion. There should be no "buffer zones" where people are not allowed to practice their right to free speech inside that "buffer zone". [/FONT][/COLOR]
    I agree. Free speech must be unrestricted. Even if, and especially if, we disagree with what they say and how they say it.

    And, before anyone says otherwise, this is not a victory for the anti-abortion crowd, but a true victory for Free Speech for ALL.

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    Re: Supreme Court Strikes Down Buffer Zones For Abortion Clinic Protests

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemSocialist View Post
    Read more @: Supreme Court Strikes Down Buffer Zones For Abortion Clinic Protests

    In my opinion this is the correct decision. Protestors have the right to peacefully assemble on public spaces even if its over a really touchy subject such as abortion. There should be no "buffer zones" where people are not allowed to practice their right to free speech inside that "buffer zone". [/FONT][/COLOR]
    Agreed, good job SCOTUS (Even though your power of Judicial Review isn't in the constitution good job ^_^).

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    Re: Supreme Court Strikes Down Buffer Zones For Abortion Clinic Protests

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemSocialist View Post
    Read more @: Supreme Court Strikes Down Buffer Zones For Abortion Clinic Protests

    In my opinion this is the correct decision. Protestors have the right to peacefully assemble on public spaces even if its over a really touchy subject such as abortion. There should be no "buffer zones" where people are not allowed to practice their right to free speech inside that "buffer zone". [/FONT][/COLOR]
    But there are "buffer zones" outside the Supreme Court .... ?

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2...ests-on-plaza/

    kinda hypocritical no?
    PeteEU

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    Re: Supreme Court Strikes Down Buffer Zones For Abortion Clinic Protests

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteEU View Post
    But there are "buffer zones" outside the Supreme Court .... ?

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2...ests-on-plaza/

    kinda hypocritical no?
    That is very hypocritical.


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    Re: Supreme Court Strikes Down Buffer Zones For Abortion Clinic Protests

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteEU View Post
    But there are "buffer zones" outside the Supreme Court .... ?

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2...ests-on-plaza/

    kinda hypocritical no?
    In the USA, we have a double standard, it's called for me, but not for thee.

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    Re: Supreme Court Strikes Down Buffer Zones For Abortion Clinic Protests

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteEU View Post
    But there are "buffer zones" outside the Supreme Court .... ?

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2...ests-on-plaza/

    kinda hypocritical no?
    The court clearly allows people to protest on the sidewalks around the court building just not ON the court steps or Plaza itself, as the Supreme Court holds TOTAL power in regards to the policies that are upheld in/on their court grounds (As do most judges mind you) this is not a violation of 1st Amendment Freedom of Speech just a reasonable restriction thereby. Keep in mind with the abortion clinics the Buffer was extended to surrounding sidewalks/streets within the area which are protected "Public Domain" areas. I'm not sure if the Supreme Court falls under a "Public Domain" property or not, but I don't think it does.

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    Re: Supreme Court Strikes Down Buffer Zones For Abortion Clinic Protests

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemSocialist View Post
    Read more @: Supreme Court Strikes Down Buffer Zones For Abortion Clinic Protests

    In my opinion this is the correct decision. Protestors have the right to peacefully assemble on public spaces even if its over a really touchy subject such as abortion. There should be no "buffer zones" where people are not allowed to practice their right to free speech inside that "buffer zone". [/FONT][/COLOR]
    except for private events such as funerals courts are striking down these free speech zones left and right as unconstitutional. which they should be.

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    Re: Supreme Court Strikes Down Buffer Zones For Abortion Clinic Protests

    Quote Originally Posted by Beaudreaux View Post
    I agree. Free speech must be unrestricted. Even if, and especially if, we disagree with what they say and how they say it.

    And, before anyone says otherwise, this is not a victory for the anti-abortion crowd, but a true victory for Free Speech for ALL.
    Absolutely agree, and hopefully none of the anti-abortion folks will consider this some sort of victory. DemSocialist was right - this was the correct decision. It is in no way a referendum on abortion but is instead a positive ruling on free speech.

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    Re: Supreme Court Strikes Down Buffer Zones For Abortion Clinic Protests

    Quote Originally Posted by tres borrachos View Post
    Absolutely agree, and hopefully none of the anti-abortion folks will consider this some sort of victory. DemSocialist was right - this was the correct decision. It is in no way a referendum on abortion but is instead a positive ruling on free speech.
    They have been doing the same on college campuses and their so called free speech zones as well.

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