WASHINGTON, D.C. (Worthy News)– In a unanimous decision, the United States Supreme Court struck down a Massachusetts law that created buffer zones around abortion clinics saying it violated the First Amendment.
The US Supreme Court ruled that the state law violated the First Amendment, restricting access to public ways and sidewalks, places that are traditionally open for free debate. The government’s ability to regulate speech in such areas is limited, the justice said in a unanimous decision.
“The buffer zones burden substantially more speech than necessary to achieve the Commonwealth’s asserted interests,” the court said.
The 2007 law aimed to keep protesters least 35 feet from the entrances of abortion clinics to prevent confrontations, but the court ruled that it went too far and prevented the free speech of law-abiding abortion opponents who want to approach people going to the clinics. — Source
"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," Roberts wrote. While the state has an interest in public safety, it "pursued those interests by the extreme step of closing a substantial portion of a traditional public forum to all speakers." — Source
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