Last Thursday, the Supreme Court unanimously decided to strike down a Massachusetts law that required anti-choice protesters to remain at least 35 feet from the clinic they are protesting. Apparently free speech is only free when it’s being shouted into your opponent’s face.
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow roundly condemned the decision for endangering the safety and well-being of patients and clinic employees alike. Not only was the 35-foot buffer zone adequate for protecting first amendment rights by keeping folks within earshot of hateful bile being spewed by anti-choicers, but it also kept things from getting heated or physical in a volatile environment.
There are numerous instances of protesters overstepping their bounds. From barricading the doors with cars to premeditated murders, Maddow reminds us of the troubling history of abortion protesters carrying out dangerous acts.
There is even footage from Wisconsin in 2007 where anti-choicers celebrate the anniversary of a clinic doctor and his escort being shot dead by extremists in Pensacola, Florida.
However, Maddow’s true death blow to anyone trying to argue in favor of the Supreme Court’s decision concerned the court’s very own buffer zone. That’s right, according to the Supreme Court’s regulations, their massive public plaza cannot be used for demonstrations, including
picketing, speechmaking, marching, holding vigils or religious services, and all other like forms of conduct that involve the communication or expression of views or grievances, engaged in by one or more persons, the conduct of which is reasonably likely to draw a crowd or onlookers.
From inside their own protective buffer zone, the Supreme Court issued its majority ruling striking down the one around abortion clinics.
Watch Maddow slam the SCOTUS “buffer zone” decision.