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New Hampshire Union Leader: The Washington-based Alliance for Defending Freedom joined with Tierney in the appeal, which was filed Tuesday. – See more at: http://www.unionleader.com/article/20150422/NEWS21/150429756#sthash.do1uZFqW.dpuf
Watchdog: Within a month of the ruling, Alliance Defending Freedom had prepared a lawsuit against the bill and secured a court order restricting enforcement.
Alliance Defending Freedom: Perhaps, like me, you find it hard not to marvel at the determined effort by so many authorities throughout the U.S. to impose silence on any speech that might disagree with their policies, raise thoughtful questions, or simply provide information useful to voters, students, and other fellow citizens.
National Partnership for Women and Families: The suit was filed by a Christian legal group alleging that the measure violates antiabortion-rights protesters’ right to free speech. The group, called the Alliance Defending Freedom, is the same organization that led a challenge resulting in last year’s Supreme Court decision that struck down a Massachusetts buffer zone law (WOMEN’S HEALTH POLICY REPORT, 7/17/14).
Alliance Defending Freedom: Later this month, pro-life advocates across the country will gather to mourn the 42nd year of the infamous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that endeavored to legitimize abortion in the eyes of the American public. That the endeavor failed – that year after year sees stronger support among ensuing generations for a repeal of the ruling – is cold comfort to those of us chilled by the specter of the 57 million babies (one out of six of our fellow Americans) killed in the womb across these four decades.
Alliance Defending Freedom: How do you measure a year? By moments remembered? Milestones passed? Accomplishments or setbacks? For myself, I like to measure the turning of the calendar by results, not just activity … by what has changed over these last 12 months … by what difference, great or small, our Alliance Defending Freedom has been able to make this year in the lives of the people we serve.
Alliance Defending Freedom: The city of Madison voted Tuesday to rescind its law that created hundreds of censorship zones throughout the city in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in McCullen v. Coakley, a case Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and allied attorneys filed in 2008. ADF filed suit against the Madison law in February.
The World and Everything in It Legal Docket: The marriage battle, abortion buffer zones, and a culturally significant census bureau report (audio)
The World and Everything in It Legal Docket: The marriage battle, abortion buffer zones, and a culturally significant census bureau report, by Mary Reichart.
National Review: In the Court’s recent ruling in McCullen v. Coakley, all nine justices agreed that theMassachusetts statute that created a general no-speech zone on public streets and sidewalks within 35 feet of an abortion clinic violated the First Amendment.
Politico: “There are a lot of places where there could be new challenges,” said Matt Bowman, the alliance’s senior legal counsel. “All of those laws are in deep constitutional trouble because the Supreme Court said that you can’t punish speech … and all those laws do that.”
National Review: Massachusetts demonstrated its abortion radicalism today as Governor Deval Patrick signed a new buffer-zone law under the guise of protecting public safety. In doing so, he makes the state less safe for the unborn and less free for the mother who feels pressure from the culture and due to her circumstances to abort her child.
Life News: Despite the fact the nation’s highest court took the state of Massachusetts to task for passing a law curtailing the free speech rights of pro-life advocates, the Bay State is again trying to suppress them.
One News Now: “This court order guarantees that the government cannot enforce New Hampshire’s censorship zones until the court has a chance to rule on our argument that the law violates freedom of speech,” Matt Bowman tells OneNewsNow.
Concord Monitor: In the lawsuit filed earlier this month, the Alliance Defending Freedom argued that New Hampshire’s new law restricts abortion protesters’ freedom of speech.
Seattle Pi: The law was to take effect July 10 but after the Massachusetts ruling, Alliance Defending Freedom sued on behalf of several abortion opponents to block it.
Life News: “New Hampshire has created an expansive anti-speech zone that cannot survive constitutional scrutiny,” said Tierney, with the Manchester firm of Wadleigh, Starr & Peters, PLLC, and one of more than 2,400 attorneys allied with ADF. “As the Supreme Court recently indicated, censorship zones have no place on public ways and sidewalks.”
Alliance Defending Freedom: In the understandable excitement so many of us felt two weeks ago over the wonderfully welcome and important U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding the Conestoga / Hobby Lobby case, I have delayed celebrating another high court decision in another Alliance Defending Freedom supported-case – one with its own enormous implications for your family’s First Amendment-protected freedom of speech. And, even more importantly, for the defense of life in the womb.
The Washington Times: Massachusetts lawmakers should proceed cautiously to avoid future lawsuits as they consider altering security rules around abortion clinics in the wake of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, a group that opposes abortion said Tuesday.
Christian News Network: Several cities across the country have decided to suspend enforcement of imposed buffer zones around local abortion facilities following the recent Supreme Court ruling that struck down such free speech-free zones as unconstitutional.
Alliance Defending Freedom: The city of Madison has again suspended enforcement of its law that creates hundreds of anti-speech zones throughout the city. The city’s decision, which City Attorney Michael May announced in an e-mail Tuesday, comes just days after ADF attorneys filed a supplemental brief in federal district court that explained the heightened problems with the ordinance in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous decision Thursday in McCullen v. Coakley, a case ADF attorneys and allied attorneys filed in 2008.
Catholic Herald: On June 26 the United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously in McCullen vs Coakley that pro-life advocates are entitled to stand on taxpayer-funded sidewalks outside abortion clinics to give women the pro-life perspective. This will ensure that pregnant women know pro-life help is available and give them the opportunity to hear the choice not presented by abortion clinics—to keep the baby.
The Washington Times: The greatest threat to an oppressive government and its cronies isn’t war, recession, or scandal. It’s a grandmother quietly exercising her freedom to hand out a leaflet on a public sidewalk.
Mirror of Justice: The Supreme Court unaimously decided Thursday that Massachusetts violated the First Amendment by excluding speech from a 35-foot “buffer zone” around abortion clinic driveways and entrances. McCullen v. Coakley is a victory for pro-life speech rights, although just how broad a victory is uncertain.
National Review: Beware the grandmother who offers you love. That was one common reaction to the Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling striking down the Massachusetts’ buffer-zone law, which kept women and men who sought to offer help, counsel, and prayer 35 feet away from the entrances to abortion clinics.
The Federalist: In McCullen v. Coakley, all nine Supreme Court justices ruled that a Massachusetts law that creates a no-speech zone within 35 feet of an abortion clinic violates the First Amendment. But what’s interesting is how pro-choice activists responded.
Trib Live: “We are looking into other areas that have such laws and ordinances, and, yes, we will seek to bring them in line with the Constitution and today’s ruling,” said Kerri Kupec, spokeswoman for Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented the plaintiff in the Massachusetts case and sued to change rules restricting activists in Pittsburgh eight years ago.
Life News: McCullen was represented by the nonprofit legal group Alliance Defending Freedom. Their lead counsel on this case Mark Rienzi noted, “Americans have the freedom to talk to whomever they please on public sidewalks. That includes peaceful pro-lifers like Eleanor McCullen, who just wants to offer information and help to women who would like it.”
Via MyFox Boston.
Patheos’ Get Religion blog: Using my media critic’s prerogative, I decided to grade some of the coverage. My major criteria: First, how fully did a particular story cover the important details — including the court’s majority and minority opinions, the reactions by the parties involved in the case and the responses by activists on both sides of the abortion debate? Second, how fairly did the story treat all sides?
Steve Aden discusses the McCullen v. Coakley decision with Drew Mariani for Relevant Radio.
The Washington Times: The constitutionality of a New Hampshire law allowing buffer zones around reproductive health facilities’ entrances was questioned Thursday after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a similar Massachusetts law.
SCOTUS Blog: Did the Chief Justice effectively overrule Hill or its result as a practical matter, without saying so?
Alliance Defending Freedom: The U.S. Supreme Court Thursday unanimously struck down a Massachusetts law that creates a 35-foot “buffer zone” restricting pro-life advocates from speaking with people entering abortion facilities.
Alliance Defending Freedom: “Americans have the freedom to talk to whomever they please on public sidewalks. That includes peaceful pro-lifers like Eleanor McCullen, who just wants to offer information and help to women who would like it. The Supreme Court has affirmed a critical freedom that has been an essential part of American life since the nation’s founding.”
OneNewsNow: “ADF attorney Matt Bowman says the ordinance creates 320-foot ‘bubbles’ that keep pro-lifers from approaching others with leaflets or signs, or to talk to them. ‘And these bubbles are happening at the heart of what is really a town where freedom of speech is part of the culture,’ the attorney tells OneNewsNow.”
“No one should want the government to gag speech just because it doesn’t reflect the government’s views or the views of abortionists. For that reason, we are pleased that the anti-speech ordinance did not go into effect as scheduled, and we welcome the city’s attempt to reconsider it in the wake of our lawsuit. We will monitor the city council’s decisions as we continue our fight to protect free speech for the people of Madison.”
Washington Times: “Freedom of speech is ‘at its apex on public streets and sidewalks when citizens wish to persuade other citizens by means of leafleting and personal education,’ said the lawsuit, filed by Matthew S. Bowman and other attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom. The city’s new law is ‘poorly conceived’ and an ‘unjustified attack on free speech,’ it added.”
The Pendulum (Elon University): “Steven Aden, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom on the side of the plaintiff in McCullen v. Coakley, argued that this case should guide the court in the future to not allow any similar buffer zone laws. ‘Any law that creates a no-speech-zone on a public sidewalk is constitutionally suspect,’ Aden said.”
The Connecticut Law Tribune: “DePrimo has argued against buffer zones in three separate cases. Though he doesn’t charge these clients any money, he has accepted payment from grants through the Alliance Defense Fund and other pro-life organizations.” [subscription required for full article]
TribLive: “‘The underlying legal issues are very similar. The precedents are the same. If the court issues a dissenting decision, Pittsburgh may have to re-evaluate as well,’ said Steven Aiden, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, the Christian conservative legal defense organization representing lead plaintiff Eleanor McCullen.”
National Journal: “‘No state should have power to circumscribe a line around speech it disagrees with, and shut out the speakers, and completely foreclose means of communication,’ said Steven Aden, vice president of human-life issues at the Alliance Defending Freedom, which he says has provided funding and support for the challenge. ‘That’s exactly what the state of Massachusetts has done in this case.’”
Human Events: “It’s difficult to square this prohibition with the freedom of speech, or to insist that it should be uniquely practiced against only one set of ideas, as noted by the Alliance Defending Freedom when they filed the suit almost exactly six years ago: ‘Pro-life advocates shouldn’t be penalized for expressing their beliefs,’ said ADF-allied attorney and lead counsel Michael DePrimo.”
OneNewsNow: “Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Steven H. Aden was present at the high court hearing. He tells OneNewsNow the arguments were over a Massachusetts law that establishes a buffer zone around abortion clinic entrances, which keeps away pro-lifers.”
Wendy Kaminer at The Atlantic: “I’m arguing that a woman’s right to right to choose and obtain abortions, and other reproductive heath services, doesn’t diminish her obligation to tolerate extremely irritating, occasionally hysterical, and potentially invasive protesters.”
Patrick Ryan at The American Spectator: “However, attorney Steven Aden of the Alliance Defending Freedom told Reuters, ‘This case is about whether a government has the constitutional ability to cordon off a large section of public space and make it a First Amendment-free zone.’”
Do abortion clinic buffer zones protect public safety or restrict free speech? | Aden debate on PBS NewsHour
Alliance Defending Freedom’s Steven H. Aden debates Ilyse Hogue of NARAL on PBS NewsHour: “STEVEN ADEN, Alliance Defending Freedom: Well, I agree it is a very important case, Judy. . . . And this law actually is the first law of its kind that the Supreme Court has encountered where all speech has been banned on a public sidewalk. And that’s very dangerous. For a state to have the power to ban the kind of speech that it opposes just because it opposes it is very dangerous. It could do that to any speech.”
“A 35-foot protest-free zone outside Massachusetts abortion clinics appeared unlikely to survive Supreme Court review after liberal and conservative justices alike expressed misgivings about the law in arguments Wednesday.”
CBN News: “Attorney Steven Aden, with the Alliance Defending Freedom, has helped McCullen and other plaintiffs suing Massachusetts over the law. ‘Mrs. McCullen and others have been greatly hindered in their ministry,’ Aden told CBN News.”
Reuters: “Steven Aden, an attorney at the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian group that backs the protesters, said the state was targeting people for expressing a particular view. ‘This case is about whether a government has the constitutional ability to cordon off a large section of public space and make it a First Amendment-free zone,’ he said.”
LifeNews: “‘Peaceful pro-life citizens should be able to freely share their message to mothers in vital need without having to shout from outside a “First Amendment-free zone,”‘ explained Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden, who will also be available for media interviews following oral arguments.”
Religion Clause: “The U.S. Supreme Court this morning heard oral arguments in McCullen v. Coakley, a case challenging on free speech grounds a Massachusetts law creating a 35-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics to shield women entering the clinics from abortion opponents.”
Burlington Free Press: “Their lawyer, Michael DePrimo, is also one of the lawyers representing the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case, McCullen v. Coakley. He said in an interview that the two cases are tied together. ‘The Supreme Court really is going to decide the life or death of the Burlington ordinance,’ DePrimo said. He lives in Connecticut and is connected with with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal group based in Scottsdale, Ariz.”
Attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom will be available for media interviews Wednesday following oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the constitutionality of a Massachusetts law that creates a 35-foot “buffer zone” restricting pro-life advocates from speaking with people entering abortion facilities.
SCOTUSblog: “At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hold one hour of oral argument on the power of government to limit protests and demonstrations outside abortion clinics. Arguing for the challengers to a Massachusetts ‘buffer zone’ law in the case of McCullen v. Coakley will be Mark L. Rienzi of Washington, D.C., a law professor at Catholic University.”
Adam Liptak in the New York Times: “Early last Wednesday, bundled up against the 7-degree cold, Ms. McCullen said she found the line to be intimidating, frustrating and a violation of her First Amendment rights. The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Wednesday in her challenge to the law.”
NRO Bench Memos: As Ed has previously noted, next Wednesday the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in McCullen v. Coakley, which presents the question of whether the First Amendment permits a state to forbid pro-life counselors and others from peacefully talking to women on a public sidewalk within 35 feet of an abortion clinic.
Floyd Abrams at the Wall Street Journal: But now that McCullen has reached the Supreme Court, both ACLU groups have switched sides. Their position, their brief states, has “evolved over time” and the Massachusetts law is, after all, constitutional on its face. Of course, the First Amendment has not changed in the 14 years between the filing of the ACLU briefs in Hill and McCullen; the ACLU has. The old ACLU got it right.
NPR with Nina Totenberg: Among other cases, the justices will be deciding the rules that govern campaign finance and they will hear arguments in cases regarding the so-called buffer zones around abortion clinics and the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that for-profit companies cover contraception in their health plans.
Boston Globe: Exactly 35 feet from the entrance to the Planned Parenthood on Commonwealth Avenue, Eric Anthony paced, handing out antiabortion fliers to anyone who would take one.
LA Times Editorial: Massachusetts requires protesters to stay 35 feet away from abortion clinics. That’s reasonable.
Boston Globe: Nearly a dozen briefs have been filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a Massachusetts law barring protests within 35 feet of abortion clinic entrances, exits and driveways.
Alan Sears at Alliance Defending Freedom: The opening of another session of the U.S. Supreme Court brings to the forefront several key cases being litigated or funded by Alliance Defending Freedom – cases with profound implications for the future of your life and your religious freedom. I want to give you a glimpse of what’s coming . . .
Lyle Denniston at SCOTUS Blog: The new case, Horne v. Isaacson (docket 13-402), is from Arizona, and the 2012 law at stake would prohibit a woman from having an abortion at twenty weeks or later in pregnancy — three or four weeks before the commonly accepted point at which a fetus could survive if born alive (that is, the point of fetal “viability”).
Aleteia: The current Supreme Court term is set to address freedom of speech for pro-life demonstrations, prayer in legislative settings, and religious freedom.
Stephen Wermiel at SCOTUS Blog: Now add to the list the case of McCullen v. Coakley, which pits a state’s interest in protecting women who want access to abortion clinics against the interests of anti-abortion protesters who want to be able to counsel and hand literature to women approaching clinics.
US Supreme Court to Hear Public Prayer, Abortion, ‘Obamacare’ Cases as New Term Begins | Christian Post
Christian Post: However, Joel Oster, senior legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, who represented Greece in the court at the time, told The Christian Post earlier that the decision contradicted past Supreme Court rulings on the matter. “The U.S. Supreme Court already upheld the practice of prayers before deliberative bodies,” he said. “This opinion by the Second Circuit effectively undermines the Supreme Court’s opinion and places several roadblocks and obstacles for a town to permit legislative prayers.”
“There is often one set of rules for free speech at abortion clinics that bear little resemblance to the rules that apply everywhere else,” stated Dana Cody, Executive Director of Life Legal Defense Foundation (LLDF). This “abortion exceptionalism” is key in the amicus curiae, or friend of the court brief filed this week in the United States Supreme Court case, McCullen v. Coakley.
A.J. Kritikos at Washington Times: The case, McCullen v. Coakley, concerns a 2007 Massachusetts law that prohibits some speakers from coming within 35 feet of free-standing abortion clinics. In effect, the law bans pro-life advocates from trying to peacefully persuade those entering the clinic to consider alternatives to abortion.
Petition for Rehearing in Scott v. Saint John’s Church in the Wilderness, Seeking a Hold for McCullen v. Coakley
Eugene Volokh at Volokh Conspiracy: We’ve therefore filed a petition for rehearing, asking the Court to hold Scott pending the result in McCullen, and then perhaps granting the petition, vacating the decision below, and remanding for reconsideration in light of McCullen (a so-called “GVR”).