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View Diary: Reporters: Most Supreme Court justices view Massachusetts' abortion clinic buffer zones skeptically (302 comments)

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  •  What's the basis of that? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pi Li

    Remember, we are talking about 35 feet once you get off the private property -- in other words, you can't stand on a public sidewalk outside the building if you are within 35 feet of that.

    There's no law that prevents you from standing outside of the New York Stock exchange on the public sidewalk with a sign saying what you think about the NYSE.  You can't block people from entering, and you can't enter yourself because it's private property.

    •  Did you see the exchange or pics during OWS? (3+ / 0-)

      The entire street was blocked off by barricades and you could only protest across the street catty corner to the stock exchange. At least that was the set up when we were protesting in 2011. I don't know if they've kept it tht way or not.

      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

      by AoT on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 05:34:36 PM PST

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      •  A group large enough to block streets or even (0+ / 0-)

        block access to the NYSE?  Sure, for that kind of thing, they'll restrict where you are, to make sure that you don't block access to the NYSE or that you don't block streets.  

        But on any given day, a few people can stand in front of the NYSE with signs, as long as they don't block anybody.

        •  The barricades we blocking off the streets (4+ / 0-)

          not people. They put up barricades to restrict how close we could get to the exchange.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 06:15:51 PM PST

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        •  You obviously haven't been in NYC since Rudy (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          One Opinion, sethtriggs, Old Sailor, AoT

          was mayor.  I used to work at Smith Barney a long time ago. There were often people protesting on the edge of the sidewalk and the private security came and literally made every one of them leave, every single time.

          Never a word was said about it and there was never a story in the news either.  And if the police actually responded (which would never happen unless the situation got out of control–IOW they wouldn't leave) it would be to defend the corporation.

          The law is useless when there's big money involved.

          The priest said, "Today's sermon is called 'Liars', but first I have a question. How many of you have read Chapter 66 in Matthew?" Nearly every hand went up. "You're just the group I need to speak to," the priest said. "There's no such chapter."

          by Back In Blue on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 06:28:50 PM PST

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    •  I don't know what the legal basis is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tonedevil, Brown Thrasher

      I think "Terrorism".

      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

      by AoT on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 05:47:40 PM PST

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      •  That may be. If the restrictions are content (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, VClib

        neutral, and narrowly tailored for some legitimate government interest (like protecting an obvious terrorist target) and the protesters have reasonable alternatives for being heard, that may be constitutional.  

        •  Abortion clinics are the most (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Old Sailor, lyvwyr101, Brown Thrasher

          common terrorist target in the US.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:31:27 PM PST

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          •  How much of a buffer is required to (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT, VClib

            for that purpose?

            What's the basis for thinking a 35 foot buffer is going to prevent more of those attacks than, say, a five foot buffer?

            Could it be accomplished in a way that is more accommodating of free speech -- say, no weapons or other things like that within 35 feet of a clinic?

            If you assume that the government has a compelling interest in preventing terrorism, then the law gets has to be narrowly tailored to meet that compelling interest, and has to offer reasonable alternatives for protesters to be heard by people outside the clinics.

            You'd essentially have to show a real, solid basis for believing that these buffers are necessary to prevent terrorist attacks, and that there's pretty much no other effective way of doing that.  Because if the Court thinks you are using the excuse of terrorism as a pretext for preventing women entering clinics from having to hear offensive remarks from protesters, that's unconstitutional.  

            •  Given that assault of someone who is attempting (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Old Sailor, lyvwyr101

              to exercise their right to get an abortion and the threat thereof would fall under the federal definition of terrorism then a great many people have committed terrorism and this statute serves to protect the people so impacted. The whole reason for this statute is that this has not just been a matter of speech, it has been a matter of assault as well, as many people in the comment section here have attested to.

              So, given that there is a clear history of terrorism in these situations. And given that this law prevents said incidents of terrorism. It seems to me that this law is more justified than any law which would protect meetings from the theoretical threat of terrorism by putting up giant walls.

              Of course, I'm under no illusion that our legal system is about actual equality, so I don't expect this statute to stand while I fully expect the statutes and procedures that protect the powerful from hearing protest to remain in place.

              If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

              by AoT on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 09:24:02 PM PST

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              •  Hmmmm (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                VClib
                Given that assault of someone who is attempting to exercise their right to get an abortion and the threat thereof would fall under the federal definition of terrorism

                So, given that there is a clear history of terrorism in these situations.

                If this is the case, than it's up to the DOJ to prosecute these protestors for terrorism. Has that occurred?

                 

                it has been a matter of assault as well, as many people in the comment section here have attested to.
                If it's a case of assault, it's the responsibility of local law enforcement to arrest these people for assault.

                I suppose we could stop a lot of crime if we were willing to start dispensing with more civil liberties. Which civil liberties are you willing to give up in the name of stopping assault?

                Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

                by Pi Li on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:21:55 AM PST

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                •  From what other people here are saying (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Old Sailor

                  and remember these are people who have been working at these clinics, there is a serious problem with various locales not prosecuting for assault. And the fact of the matter is that I've already had civil liberties taken from me in the name of safety. I can't tell you how many times I've been corralled into "free speech zones" at protests. If those are constitutional then why not this relatively small buffer zone?

                  If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                  by AoT on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 10:47:55 AM PST

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