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1 Self Respecting Woman Voter Against the GOP  Jun 27, 2014 1:18:11pm

He pretty much says it all. The SCOTUS, every single one of them, should be ashamed today.

2 calochortus  Jun 27, 2014 2:36:36pm

re: #1 Sionainn

He pretty much says it all. The SCOTUS, every single one of them, should be ashamed today.

And so should the so-called “pro life” people.

3 EPR-radar  Jun 27, 2014 2:52:08pm

re: #2 calochortus

And so should the so-called “pro life” people.

Movement “pro-lifers” are incapable of shame. However, I expected better from the relatively liberal Supreme Court justices.

4 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Jun 27, 2014 3:00:27pm

re: #3 EPR-radar

Movement “pro-lifers” are incapable of shame. However, I expected better from the relatively liberal Supreme Court justices.

Again, I think this was the right ruling. The article itself shows why: The thirty-five foot buffer zone was not enough, either. There is no law that is going to address or fix the problem of people hating women for getting abortions. Our entire culture tells women who are getting abortions that they are at best sad fuckups, at worst evil child-killers. The protesters are a symptom of a much larger problem, and providing buffer zones while closing down clinics isn’t going to help much.

I’d much rather we enforce the actual law, whatever it is, against the protesters who routinely violate it. No matter how permissive the law is, the protestors always step over it.

5 EPR-radar  Jun 27, 2014 3:07:51pm

re: #4 Fairly Sure I’m Still Obdicut

Again, I think this was the right ruling. The article itself shows why: The thirty-five foot buffer zone was not enough, either. There is no law that is going to address or fix the problem of people hating women for getting abortions. Our entire culture tells women who are getting abortions that they are at best sad fuckups, at worst evil child-killers. The protesters are a symptom of a much larger problem, and providing buffer zones while closing down clinics isn’t going to help much.

I’d much rather we enforce the actual law, whatever it is, against the protesters who routinely violate it. No matter how permissive the law is, the protestors always step over it.

The difficulty that I have with this SCOTUS ruling is that I fail to see how getting in someone’s face about their personal decisions can be protected speech under the first amendment. The first amendment protects freedom of expression, especially from government control. Where in that concept is the notion that the protestor is entitled to get into the face of a private citizen dealing with personal medical issues?

That said, your point about enforcing existing anti-harassment laws etc. against the protestors would make a bigger difference in practice than any theorizing about the first amendment.

6 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Jun 27, 2014 3:27:30pm

re: #5 EPR-radar

The difficulty that I have with this SCOTUS ruling is that I fail to see how getting in someone’s face about their personal decisions can be protected speech under the first amendment. The first amendment protects freedom of expression, especially from government control. Where in that concept is the notion that the protestor is entitled to get into the face of a private citizen dealing with personal medical issues?

Where does it not? Do I have the right to walk up to someone who’s going into a Pray Away The Gay Camp to tell them that that shit really doesn’t work, and give them a pamphlet for low-cost social services?

I’m not sure why you think this would be restricted under a normal first amendment reading. Can you explain?

That said, your point about enforcing existing anti-harassment laws etc. against the protestors would make a bigger difference in practice than any theorizing about the first amendment.

One of the biggest problems is that cops don’t know 99% of the law. Most of their calls are the same things, and those don’t include the exact minutiae of distances that protesters are allowed to be, or a host of other things. A lot of the time, they think whatever laws governing this are civil, not criminal, and so refuse to do anything. At the abortion clinic I volunteered at, we had the number of a particular cop to call because he actually knew this shit, if he wasn’t on duty, then basically don’t even bother calling the cops unless they’re being violent.

I do think that the clinics and the escorts should start just suing the protesters. And I do think that ‘practicing medicine without a license’ could be extended to ‘telling perfect strangers lies about the health risks of the procedure they’re seeking under medical care’. There’s ways to go about this, but a direct charge at the first amendment isn’t one of them.

Kagan and Sotomayor aren’t fools, and they shouldn’t be ashamed of themselves.

7 EPR-radar  Jun 27, 2014 3:47:53pm

re: #6 Fairly Sure I’m Still Obdicut

I’ll try to find the time this evening for a more detailed reply (busy with other things at the moment).

8 J A P  Jun 27, 2014 4:58:39pm

re: #6 Fairly Sure I’m Still Obdicut

Actually, similar thoughts have been running through my mind. I think we should protest outside pregnancy crisis centers. We could call them “ladykillers.” The ironic thing is that you could give real statistics about the dangers of pregnancy and it would look pretty horrifying compared to an abortion. Pictures of women who have died because they were unable to get an abortion.

There could even be protests outside of Catholic Churches on Sundays. “Don’t give your money to ladykillers.”

9 Self Respecting Woman Voter Against the GOP  Jun 27, 2014 6:51:02pm

re: #8 J A P

Actually, similar thoughts have been running through my mind. I think we should protest outside pregnancy crisis centers. We could call them “ladykillers.” The ironic thing is that you could give real statistics about the dangers of pregnancy and it would look pretty horrifying compared to an abortion. Pictures of women who have died because they were unable to get an abortion.

There could even be protests outside of Catholic Churches on Sundays. “Don’t give your money to ladykillers.”

The problem with that is pro-choice people are just that…pro-choice and it’s none of our business what someone chooses to do.

10 EPR-radar  Jun 27, 2014 7:38:15pm

re: #6 Fairly Sure I’m Still Obdicut

This is a more complicated situation than I thought.

This SCOTUS decision is not a simple 9-0 case. Roberts wrote the opinion of the court which Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan and Sotomayor joined.

The odd thing about this opinion is that it held that the MA law was content neutral, so that its only constitutional defect was not being sufficiently narrowly tailored to the stated MA objective of safety etc. near clinics.

Scalia, Alito, Thomas and Kennedy all thought the MA law was not content neutral, which would make it a completely dead duck constitutionally. Laws that are not content neutral have to survive strict scrutiny to be upheld, and nobody thought the MA law would survive strict scrutiny.

This looks like a very political result to me. The votes were there to kill the MA law on the grounds that it was not content neutral, if that’s the way Roberts personally wanted to go. The result would have been another 5-4 decision with the usual breakdown of justices. Instead we have this result, which looks very much like Roberts going to the liberal wing of the court and saying “can I get your votes for knocking out the MA law on narrower grounds than lack of content neutrality?” The upside for Roberts is that he can get 9-0 on the result. The upside for the liberal wing is that precedent is created for content neutrality of laws similar to the MA law.

So in view of this, I have to withdraw my criticism of the SCOTUS liberal wing. They did the best they could with the available options.

As a final point, Hill v. Colorado en.wikipedia.org is a SCOTUS case that relates to people having a right to not be hassled. Here the court upheld a CO law setting up an 8 foot buffer zone around anyone within 100 feet of a health care facility within which unwanted communication was banned.

So far Hill is good law, but it hangs by a thread. In fact one of the certiorari questions in this case was whether or not Hill should be overturned. Apparently Roberts wanted a 9-0 result more than he wanted to kill off Hill.


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