Guest / Limited Access /
Will the Supreme Court Pop Abortion Clinic Bubbles?
Natalie Maynor / Flickr

Update (June 26): The Supreme Court ruled today that the Massachusetts "buffer law" is unconstitutional, arguing that sidewalks and public streets present public forums and that, in regulating their use broadly, the state's law violates the First Amendment.

"A painted line on the sidewalk is easy to enforce, but the prime objective of the First Amendment is not efficiency," Chief Justice John Roberts argued in a court document. "Given the vital First Amendment interests at stake, it is not enough for Massachusetts simply to say that other approaches have not worked."

According to Roberts:

It is no accident that public streets and sidewalks have developed as venues for the exchange of ideas. 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. Not so on public streets and sidewalks. …

Petitioners wish to converse with their fellow citizens about an important subject on the public streets and sidewalks—sites that have hosted discussions about the issues of the day throughout history. Respondents assert undeniably significant interests in maintaining public safety on those same streets and sidewalks, as well as in preserving access to adjacent healthcare facilities. But here the Commonwealth has pursued those interests by the extreme step of closing a substantial portion of a traditional public forum to all speakers. It has done so without seriously addressing the problem through alternatives that leave the forum open for its time-honored ...
Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this IssueChrist Called Me Off the Minaret
Subscriber Access Only Christ Called Me Off the Minaret
Through investigations, dreams, and visions, Jesus asked me to forsake my Muslim family.
RecommendedDoes Plan B Cause Abortion?
Subscriber Access Only Does Plan B Cause Abortion?
The "morning-after pill" is the center of healthcare reform fight and a federal judge's order that it be available over the counter.
TrendingDied: Tim LaHaye, Author Who 'Left Behind' a Long Legacy
Died: Tim LaHaye, Author Who 'Left Behind' a Long Legacy
Jerry B. Jenkins: 'Thrilled as I am that he is where he has always wanted to be, his departure leaves a void in my soul.'
Editor's PickPorn Is More Criticized and More Popular Than Ever
Porn Is More Criticized and More Popular Than Ever
There are so many problems with porn; it’s hard to pick just one.
Christianity Today
Will the Supreme Court Pop Abortion Clinic Bubbles?
hide thisJanuary/February January/February

In the Magazine

January/February 2014

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.