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Saturday, September 20, 2014, 5:27 p.m.
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High court voids 35-foot abortion clinic buffer

By The Associated Press

This article was published June 26, 2014 at 9:39 a.m.

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a 35-foot protest-free zone outside abortion clinics in Massachusetts.

The justices were unanimous in ruling that extending a buffer zone 35 feet from clinic entrances violates the First Amendment rights of protesters.

Chief Justice John Roberts said authorities have less intrusive ways to deal with problems outside the clinics and noted that most of the problems reported by police and the clinics occurred outside the Planned Parenthood facility in Boston, and only on Saturdays when the largest crowds typically gather.

"For a problem shown to arise only once a week in one city at one clinic, creating 35-foot buffer zones at every clinic across the Commonwealth is hardly a narrowly tailored solution," Roberts said.

While the court was unanimous in the outcome, Roberts joined with the four liberal justices to strike down the buffer zone on narrow grounds. In a separate opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia criticized Roberts' opinion for carrying forward "this court's practice of giving abortion-rights advocates a pass when it comes to suppressing the free-speech rights of their opponents."

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 total comments

LR1955 says... June 26, 2014 at 3:37 p.m.

It was not a buffer for the clinic building, it was a buffer for the young girl clients to provide some protection from the Krazee Kristians.

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HotSpringsLawyer says... June 26, 2014 at 4:11 p.m.

What a stupid micro-managing decision. Very poor jurisprudence. And the usual intellectual dishonesty from that worm Scalia, despite maybe being the smartest IQ-wise on the current Court.

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ThinkFree says... June 26, 2014 at 4:20 p.m.

Maybe we can do away with the "designated free speech zones" at our national political conventions as well! The way I see it, the entire nation is a designated free speech zone.

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djigoo says... June 26, 2014 at 4:43 p.m.

I'm with the SCOTUS on this one.

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ThinkFree says... June 26, 2014 at 5:26 p.m.

djigoo, I knew there was areas we could agree :)

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Pacorabone says... June 26, 2014 at 8:04 p.m.

allow me to remind you who are jumping to liberal, pinhead positions... this was a UNANIMOUS deision.... all 9 justices (even those who owe their job to the current holder of the White House) held this opinion.. A victory for all Americans citizens.

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