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Bill of Rights
Transcript of Bill of Rights
Treading the gray area between freedom of speech and permissible government censorship, the Texas Supreme Court heard arguments in two cases Thursday that could determine whether state judges may permanently ban people from repeating information found to be false and defamatory.
Supporters for expanding judicial power argued that the legal system must adjust to the Internet Age, where lies and innuendo — spread with only a few keystrokes — can be viewed in perpetuity unless a judge orders the information to be removed.
Traditional legal remedies, including libel lawsuits that can result in large monetary awards, don’t address a defamed person’s main desire: stopping the false statements from continuing to spread, they argue.
But free-speech advocates say allowing judges to restrain future speech is a slippery slope, raising the prospect of ambiguous orders that go too far and evoking the distasteful prospect of citizens returning to court for permission to speak on related topics.
“Our (Texas) Constitution makes no place for the restriction of speech before it has occurred,” Anthony Ricciardelli, lawyer for a website owner accused of defamation, told the court during oral arguments Wednesday.
The two cases — a family squabble and an employment dispute — heard by the state’s highest civil court seek to allow Texas judges to issue permanent injunctions banning the repetition of statements found by a jury to be false and defamatory:
• The owner of a Maryland funeral home, Kirk Burbage, is seeking to reinstate a permanent injunction barring his brother from repeating 10 statements found by Bastrop County jury to be false. The injunction was tossed out by the Austin appeals court, which ruled that judges do not have the power to restrict speech via an injunction.
The brother, Chad Burbage, who lived in Bastrop when he was sued, is asking the Supreme Court to void the jury’s $4.5 million award for libelous statements disseminated on a self-made website and in two letters to a funeral home client.
• Austin businessman Robert Kinney asked the court to reinstate his lawsuit, tossed out by a Travis County judge, seeking to force a former employer to remove statements from two websites alleging that Kinney was fired for engaging in a kickback scheme with a client. The judge, backed by the Austin appeals court, ruled that he did not have the authority to order the information removed.
Kinney’s lawyer, Martin Siegal, urged the Supreme Court to allow injunctions in such cases so Kinney could refile his lawsuit.
“Most people would be astonished to learn that they could be defamed online,” win a lawsuit declaring the statements to be false, and then find that the judge is “powerless” to order the information to be removed from websites, Siegal said.
The Bill of Rights
More than 4,000 people gathered at Perth's Cottesloe Beach on Saturday to vent their anger about the plan to use baited lines to kill large sharks off selected swimming beaches.
The cull plan - which the government says will only target sharks over three metres - was announced after seven fatal shark attacks off the WA coast in three years.
WA's acting premier Kim Hames says the Government is not budging.
The 1st Amendment
Freedom of Assembly & Press
In this article people are gathering to protest about the plan that the government established to kill sharks on certain beaches. This article displays freedom of assembly and freedom of press because while the people were gathering they also had banners, flyers etc.
Gimme a "V" for "VICTORY!" The Kountze High School cheerleading squad can display their Bible-thumping banners at games—assuming the school district allows it—State District Judge Steven Thomas ruled yesterday. Thomas concluded that putting Christian messages on banners at public school sporting events didn't constitute a violation of the First Amendment's "Establishment Clause," which forbids the government from backing any given religion, the AP reports. "They're going to be able to have their banners," said an attorney for the nonprofit representing the squad. "We won and they didn't."
But the lawyer for the Texas school district noted that the judge's ruling recognized the banners as the school's speech, not the students', meaning the district still has the right to prohibit the banners or restrict their content. He says the district may ask the judge for clarification on the ruling. The Freedom From Religion Foundation and the Anti-Defamation League decried the ruling, with the latter saying it "flies in the face of clear US Supreme Court rulings."
Freedom of Religion
In the article some high school cheerleaders put up banners that display their belief in Christianity. The board of the district that the high school cheerleaders go to found out about this and had a trial to see if it was ok. The cheerleaders attorney then brought to the boards attention that the students were only displaying freedom of religion.
The Washington Post is at it again. Days before the one year anniversary of the murders at Sandy Hook, the Post is running another piece asking readers “What’s your gun number? Share your gun story.”
Citing statistics is a central plank in the liberal war on private gun ownership. CNN host Piers Morgan began several televised “debates” with gun ownership proponents by asking them if they knew several statistics on gun violence or gun-related deaths. It was partly just a ploy to try to catch his opponent without an answer and make him seem uninformed. Sometimes he was successful, sometimes not, but nobody gave him the right answer.
Statistics are irrelevant to the Second Amendment.
The Second Amendment protects each individual’s right to keep and bear arms. Even the Supreme Court agrees, its abysmal record protecting individual rights notwithstanding. An individual’s right cannot be infringed as a result of what someone else did. It can only be infringed as a result of what that individual did. That’s why we don’t choose people at random for prosecution when a robbery is committed. An investigation is made to determine the specific individual who committed the crime, so he or she can be tried and sentenced.
That’s why we have a Fifth Amendment requiring due process. No individual can be punished unless it’s proven that individual committed a crime.
The statistics actually don’t support the gun grabbers anyway. The FBI website’s latest statistics show that violent crime in general continued to plummet from 2008 to 2012, amidst record gun sales. Murders were similarly down over the period, with the FBI reporting 12,765 in 2012. 8,855 were committed with firearms.
The U.S. Census Bureau’s U.S. and World Population clock listed the population of the United States at 317,233,035 at the time of this writing. Assuming that each of the murders committed with a firearm in 2012 was committed by a different person, .00279 percent of the population murdered someone with a firearm that year. In response, gun control advocates want to infringe the rights of the 99.99720 percent of the population that did not commit a murder with a firearm.
As absurd as that may seem, it really wouldn’t matter if the numbers were reversed. If 317 million people committed murder with a firearm in 2012, the remaining 8,855 would still retain their right to bear arms. That’s how individual rights work. They’re individual.
Unlike economic freedom or privacy, this is one area where the advancing state seems to be losing. As confused as he might be on individual rights and the role of government, the average 21st century American seems to retain some latent common sense about the right to bear arms. Every time anti-gun propaganda intensifies, gun sales skyrocket.
Let’s hope that trend continues.
Freedom of Speech
Right to bear Arms
A 71-year-old man was arrested Thursday night after police used a
to raid his Joliet house and found crack cocaine and a loaded gun, police said.
Claude E. Turner was charged with manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a firearm without an FOID card after the warrant was executed at 311 N. Ottawa St. at about 5:35 p.m., Joliet Capt. Tab Jensen said.
Narcotics officers recovered a small amount of packaged crack cocaine and a loaded 22-caliber revolver, Jensen said.
Jensen did not know the details that led to the obtaining of the search warrant other than enough probable cause evidence had been accrued to take the case to a judge, he said.
Turner is being held in the Will County jail pending a bond hearing.
In the article they talk about the rights for people to have guns due to the earlier problems such as the Sandy Hooks shooting. They say that it is ok to own a gun as long as it is only used for protection of self and property.
First, Second, Fourth, and Fifth Amendment rights have all been in the news recently, from the Department of Justice’s specious warrants to Justice Kennedy’s DOMA ruling. But most people are probably not too worried about their Third Amendment rights.
Unless you’re a member of the Mitchell family. Anthony Mitchell, of Henderson, Nev., part of the Las Vegas metropolitan area, and his parents, Linda and Michael Mitchell, are suing the City of Henderson, the City of North Las Vegas, and several police officers from the police departments of both cities on the grounds that they “quartered” themselves in the Mitchells’ homes on July 10, 2011.
While the Mitchells’ Third Amendment case may be tenuous at best — it is very unlikely that police officers could be treated legally as “soldiers,” per the Bill of Rights’ phrasing — if the grievances enumerated in the Mitchells’ recently filed lawsuit are true, a hefty sum may be theirs in the not-too-distant future.
The complaint, filed in district court last week, alleges that Henderson police, responding to a domestic-violence call, asked to use Anthony Mitchell’s house to secure a “tactical advantage.” When Mitchell refused, police pounded on his door; seconds later, they burst through and, according to the district court filing, forced Mitchell to the ground at gunpoint. They then fired multiple “pepperball” rounds at him (and his dog) as he lay on the floor. Mitchell was arrested for “obstructing a police officer,” and his home was searched without a warrant and occupied.
The lawsuit also claims that police lured Michael Mitchell, Anthony’s father, from his home (adjacent to the site of the initial domestic-violence incident) on the pretense that they wanted him to contact the suspect, who had barricaded himself inside his home. Michael followed them to their “command center,” where he was informed that the suspect was not taking calls and that he would not be allowed to return home. Michael left the command center anyway a while later and walked toward an exit from the neighborhood, which had been cordoned off by a SWAT team. A policeman in a squad car told him that his wife had “left the house” and would meet him back at the command center. Michael returned and called his son, James, to pick him up. When Michael then tried to leave, he was arrested. “Officers had no reasonable grounds to detain [him],” the lawsuit states, “nor probable cause to suspect him of committing any crime.”
A few hours later, Linda Mitchell, Michael’s wife, was taken into custody when she refused to allow officers to enter her home without a warrant. The lawsuit alleges that, while Michael and Linda were held at the “Command Post,” police officers occupied their home, drinking from their water dispenser and consuming their food.
All charges against the Mitchells were subsequently dropped, but if the Mitchells’ allegations are true, the greatest danger to locals in Henderson, Nev., may be the police.
ROCKLAND, Maine — A judge set bail Wednesday at $100,000 cash for a 68-year-old man accused of supplying a large amount of oxycodone to the midcoast area.
“He [Joseph Dupaw] fits the criteria of a career criminal as anyone I’ve ever seen,” District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau said during a bail hearing Wednesday afternoon in Rockland District Court.
Dupaw and Andrew Goupil, 33, both of Dresden, were arrested Tuesday morning in Rockland as they were about to board a ferry for Vinalhaven. Each was charged with trafficking in drugs.
Dupaw’s criminal record dates to 1965, the prosecutor said. Dupaw’s crimes include armed robbery in 1975 in Vermont, for which he was sentenced to five to 10 years, and bank robbery in 1977 in Vermont, for which he was sentenced to eight years in prison. Dupaw then moved to Maine upon his release and was convicted of robbery before being sentenced in federal court in 1998 to more than 14 years in prison for possession of a firearm by a felon.
He is out on bail from Lincoln County on charges of aggravated assault and aggravated criminal trespass.
“He has a monumental criminal record,” Rushlau said.
Defense attorney William Pagnano said that $100,000 bail for a drug charge was extremely high if not excessive. He said Dupaw has resided in Dresden since 2006 and has family in Maine.
Judge Susan Sparaco said because of the defendant’s record and the potential jail time he faces at his age, the $100,000 bail was appropriate.
Bail for Goupil was set at $10,000 cash or $50,000 surety.
The affidavit filed in court by the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency states that an undercover agent met Goupil and the suspect said he had a man who could supply them with a lot of oxycodone. The supplier turned out to be Dupaw, according to the affidavit.
The MDEA alleges that the two men have been selling hundreds of oxycodone pills in Lincoln and Knox counties for several months. The two men have been under investigation for several months, according to the news release.
MDEA Supervisor James Pease said in a news release Tuesday that 200 pills were seized along with $1,550. The street value of the drugs was $7,000, according to the release.
AUSTIN — Jury selection got under way Wednesday in the trial of an Elkton man charged after a car crash that killed two of his friends in February 2012.
Jason David Fredrickson, now 45, was reportedly under the influence of alcohol while driving a vehicle that struck a telephone pole at what officials said was 120 miles per hour.
He was charged in Mower County District Court in February 2013 with six felony counts of criminal vehicular homicide; each is punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $20,000 fine, or both.
The crash occurred just before 2 a.m. on Feb. 25, 2012, at 2810 Fourth Ave. S.E. in Austin Township. Authorities arrived on the scene to find Luke David Unverzagt, 32, had been ejected from the vehicle; he was pronounced dead at the scene. Jacob Steven Moe, 32, was transported to Mayo Clinic Health System-Austin, where he was pronounced dead.
Fredrickson was also injured in the crash. During a medical evaluation performed approximately 40 minutes after the crash, he was found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.126 — the legal limit is to drive in Minnesota is 0.08.
According to the criminal complaint, the three men and their wives began drinking about 7 p.m. on Feb. 24. They made trips to the liquor store and a local bar before returning home around midnight, when the women went inside and the men continued drinking in the garage. The wives of Unverzagt and Moe told authorities that they saw Fredrickson's wife's car leave the garage about 1:45 a.m. without its headlights on — after Sarah Unverzagt told the men they couldn't go driving.
The two women both tried to call and text their husbands and received no response, the complaint says. A passerby reported the crash at 1:51 a.m.
An accident reconstruction performed by the Minnesota State Patrol estimated that the vehicle left the road while traveling at approximately 120 mph in an area where the speed limit was 50 mph.
According to the complaint, the car struck the ditch embankment and became airborne as it continued up the embankment. The vehicle then struck a utility pole, shearing it off at the base, before spinning to hit a tree approximately two feet above the ground. As the car hit the tree, it also collided with another utility pole before finally coming to a stop.
There is some question about who was actually driving the vehicle, but authorities believe — through a list of seven reasons filed in the complaint — that Fredrickson was behind the wheel of his wife's car.
The widows of both men filed wrongful death civil suits in excess of $50,000 against Fredrickson in December 2012.
Fredrickson and Sarah Unverzagt reached an out-of-court settlement of $100,000 in advance of a pretrial hearing Dec. 31, 2013.
Megan Moe also filed and named Lyle Liquor in her civil suit; if she doesn't reach an agreement with the parties, the cases will head to court in late March.
Patna: Senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi Friday condemned the brutal gangrape and the murder of a girl from Bihar in Kolkata and demanded a speedy trial of the case to bring perpetrators to justice.
"The gangrape and death of a 16-year-old girl from Bihar deserves condemnation in strongest words... The least could be done by the West Bengal government is to carry out speedy trial of the case in order to bring the perpetrators to justice," he told reporters.
Being a woman herself, the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee should intervene in the matter to ensure expeditious probe and speedy trial of the accused persons in the gangrape case, Modi said.
The former deputy chief minister also regretted that the victim's family members were being reportedly pressurised by the local people to leave Kolkata for home to divert attention from the shocking incident and urged the West Bengal government to provide adequate security to the family.
Modi demanded that those cops who pressurised the aggrieved family to leave Kolkata should be identified and stringent action be taken against them.
The West Bengal government should deal with the issue with due sensitivity, he said.
Modi said that a fact finding team of the state unit of BJP headed by former minister Renu Devi will leave tonight for Kolkata to find out the facts of the matter as well as to meet the affected family and the top officials of the West Bengal government.
The former deputy chief minister also slammed the Bihar government's decision for provide a paltry assistance of Rs one lakh to the victim's family and said that the amount was too little in comparison to lakh of rupees given to the affected people in smaller incidents in Bihar.
The state government should give at least Rs 10 lakh assistance to the family of the gangrape victim, he said.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had yesterday announced Rs one lakh for the victim's family and and promised to rehabilitate the girl's family in Bihar if they chose to do so.
Kumar had also directed the Inspector General of Police, Special Branch, G S Gangwar to meet the family, which hails from Bihar, and assist them in any way possible.
"I am deeply saddened over the incident which deserves condemnation in the strongest words," Kumar told reporters.
Search and Seizure
Ready to Speedy, Fair Trial
Trial by Jury
Power Reserved to the People
Power Reserved to the States
Due Process of Law
In the article it talks about how the Texas Supreme Court are trying to figure out if they are going to permanently ban people from repeating information from the internet online, but free-speech advocates say that if judges restrain people from doing so will cause more of a problem for other people for when they want to speak their mind.
In the article talks about how the polices came barging at the residence of the Mitchell family, claiming that if they used the Mitchell's house it would be an advantage for their investigation. But when the police officers came to their door step and asked to stay there the Mitchell's rufused.
In the article a 71 year old man was found guilty after police officers raided the house with a warrant finding cocaine, and loaded gun.
In the article a deputy chief minister demanded a speedy trial on behalf of a young 16-year old girl who was gang raped and then killed, she requested it so that the criminals would be found quickly and be put to justice.
A man was charged after a car crash, killing 2 people. They found out later on that while driving he was under the influence of alcohol and while that her was driving 120 miles per hour. He had a court trial and was sentenced to 10 years in prison by the jury and a $20,000 fine.
In the article 2 men were caught about to board a fairy boat with illegal drugs. They both had a fine of $100,000, but then the judge said it was too much for one of the culprits and the fine was diminished to $10,000 cash or $50,000 surety.
In the article it talks about how the people inthe state of Arizona that want to have same-sex marriages were waiting for the government officials to approve. The state of Arizona has the right to deem if there will be gay marriage in that state.
PHOENIX -- Gays hoping to wed in Arizona should not look for legal relief soon.
The four couples who filed suit Monday to void Arizona's ban on recognizing same-sex marriages are not asking U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick for an immediate injunction. That could have forced the issue into court within weeks.
Instead, attorney Shawn Aiken is biding his time. He wants a full-blown trial on the merits -- and, then, hopefully, a permanent injunction requiring the state to start issuing marriage licenses to gays.
But that could take months -- or even longer.
At the same time, Sedwick's willingness to strike down both a long-standing state law and a 2008 voter-approved state constitutional amendment could turn on what is now playing out in Denver. That is where the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is going to hear arguments about a federal judge's ruling in Utah saying that gays can legally wed in that state.
An appellate court ruling that gays have a legal right to marry could weigh heavily on what Sedwick decides.
Ultimately, though, the issue will have to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court which probably won't get the Utah case until at least next year, long after when Aiken is hoping to get a ruling here.
What the justices will do is anyone's guess. While they ruled in favor of gays last year on two related issues, they more recently stayed the Utah judge's order and halted same-sex weddings there while the issue is litigated.
In essence, the arguments of the four Arizona couples is similar to the one accepted by that federal judge in Utah.
They claim that the Arizona ban violates their individual rights under the equal protection and due process provisions of the U.S. Constitution. Aiken argues the ban is "arbitrary and invidious discrimination.'
"A state law that singles out homosexuals for disfavored treatment and imposes inequality on them violates the principle of equal protection under the law,' he argued in his legal filings to Sedwick. He said that is precisely the effect of Arizona's restrictions, denying gays the right to marry a chosen partner and denying them the "benefits and protections of marriage.'
But Aiken has a fallback position he is advancing for two of the couples. They were legally wed in California but reside in Arizona.
He said the U.S. Constitution already requires Arizona to honor opposite-sex marriages performed in other states. Aiken said Arizona has no legal right to decide that same-sex marriages performed legally elsewhere are not entitled to legal recognition.
"The Full Faith and Credit clause requires that one state recognizes (things like a) death certificate, birth certificate,' Aiken told Capitol Media Services. "And court judgments and marriage certificates fall right in the same category.'
But even that argument may not be a slam-dunk.
Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court voided provisions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which forbid the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in states where they are legal. That has since led to changes in various laws and regulations entitling legally wed gay couples to things like being able to file joint federal tax returns and get survivor benefits.
But there's another provision of DOMA the justices did not address. It says states need not recognize same-sex nuptials from other states.
Aiken said, though, he believes courts will rule that DOMA provision cannot trump the couples' constitutional rights.
The last time courts addressed the issue in Arizona was in 2003 when the state Court of Appeals unanimously rejected arguments that the state law restricting marriage to two people of the opposite sex is illegally discriminatory. The judges said legislators are entitled to conclude the permitting marriage only among heterosexuals promotes the state's interest in procreation and raising children in stable families.
Judge Ann Scott Timmer, writing the appellate decision even before the 2008 constitutional ban, said it is legally irrelevant that the state allows marriage of heterosexual partners who either cannot or choose not to have children. Timmer, now a justice on the state supreme court, wrote that if gays want the right to wed they had to take their case to the Legislature -- or directly to the people through an initiative drive.
Backers of same-sex marriage had crafted such a measure for the 2014 ballot. That bid to have voters overturn their own 2008 ban ended up being scrapped amid divisions within the gay community about the timing.
Instead, the initiative is being recrafted for 2016, with proponents saying that voter turnout is likely to be more favorable in a presidential election year.
In the article it talks about a gunman getting arrested after the theater shooting the . Later on after he was arrested police men and FBI questioned the gunman, but the gunman's lawyer said the the man didn't have to speak if he didn't want they would still have a trial so they could ask all their questions.
(Reuters) - A judge in the case of an accused Colorado theater gunman said on Thursday that most statements made by James Holmes to law enforcement about explosives inside his booby-trapped apartment without his lawyer present can be used at trial.
Public defenders said at a pre-trial hearing in the case that an FBI agent and a police detective had questioned Holmes after his lawyer had told police not to speak to him, which they said violated his due process rights. Those statements should not be allowed at trial, defense lawyers said.
Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos Samour agreed with prosecutors, who said that a public safety exception allowed authorities to question Holmes over his lawyer's objections.
The judge noted in his 126-page ruling that police and bomb technicians had few options other than detonating the various homemade bombs, which could have caused an uncontrollable explosion and fire to the entire building, or put officers at risk had they gone into the unit.
"Under the exceptional circumstances present in this case, the officers' questions about the devices in the apartment were justified by an objectively reasonable need to protect the public and first responders," Samour wrote.
Holmes, 26, is charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder for the July 2012 shooting rampage inside a suburban Denver cinema that killed 12 movie-goers and wounded or injured 70 others.
The former neuroscience graduate student has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, and prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Holmes if he is convicted.
Holmes's lawyers have challenged nearly all of the evidence amassed against their client, who underwent a court-ordered sanity examination last summer. The results of that evaluation have not been made public.
Samour said in his ruling that Holmes voluntarily told officers about how he rigged the explosives, which helped them defuse the bombs safely.
The officers did not coerce, threaten or intimidate Holmes, who understood what the officers were after and appeared "relaxed" during the interview, Samour said.
However, Samour ruled that some statements Holmes made unrelated to the explosives issue could not be used against him. It is unclear what that those exchanges related to because they were redacted in his order.
Samour has postponed the murder trial indefinitely as he considers whether to allow a second sanity examination of Holmes that prosecutors are seeking. Hearings on the issue are set for later this month, and Samour has closed the proceedings to the media and the public
In contrast, the 2007 Massachusetts law, with its 35-foot exclusion zone, is anything but narrow in its impact. It effectively prevents Eleanor McCullen and her colleagues from engaging in entirely peaceful, nondisruptive antiabortion advocacy via the distribution of leaflets and oral advocacy at the very places it is most likely to be effective. This is what First Amendment law refers to as "overbreadth"—laws that in the course of criminalizing constitutionally unprotected speech or activities limit or impair speech that is fully protected.
Nonetheless, the Supreme Court decision in Hill v. Colorado (2000) provides support for just such a First Amendment limiting approach. That opinion, written by Justice John Paul Stevens, concluded that a Colorado statute that made it criminal for anyone engaged in "oral protest, education or counseling" to approach within eight feet of another person and within 100 feet of the entrance or exit of a health facility without that person's consent did not violate the First Amendment.
To reach that conclusion, the court was obliged to deal with the overbreadth problem. It did so by concluding that a "prophylactic approach" to the regulation of speech—one that permitted constitutionally protected speech to be regulated together with unprotected speech in order to facilitate the suppression of the latter—was constitutional. This seismic shift in First Amendment law was denounced by Justice Anthony Kennedy, in his dissent, as "contradict[ing] more than half a century of well-established principles." "Overbreadth," wrote Justice Kennedy, "is a constitutional flaw, not a saving feature."
Justice Stevens' opinion in Hill went even further. Extracting from its context a historic phrase from a dissenting opinion of Justice Louis Brandeis relating to the wiretapping of telephone calls, the opinion concluded that an "unwilling listener's interest in avoiding unwanted communication" was one aspect of a broader "right to be let alone." Much of the decision is based on that notion.
But, as Justice Antonin Scalia's dissent pointed out, the Brandeis "bon mot" related to being let alone by the government—not empowering the government to suppress speech that might cause some level of discomfort. "[I]f protecting people from unwelcome communications," Justice Scalia wrote, "is a compelling state interest, the First Amendment is a dead letter."
For some supporters (and I am one) of Roe v. Wade and later cases affording constitutional protection to a woman's right to choose to have an abortion, McCullen is simply one of many cases in which the First Amendment should be read to protect speech with which we happen to disagree. But others who pride themselves on defending First Amendment rights have resisted that conclusion in this case. The jurisprudential zigzag over the years in the position of the ACLU is illustrative.
In a friend-of-the-court brief in Hill, the ACLU argued that because the Colorado statute "burdens substantially more speech than is necessary to accomplish the state's goal," the statute was facially unconstitutional. When the 2007 statute was proposed in Massachusetts, the Massachusetts ACLU opposed it, stating that "[i]f the message is unwelcome, as it often will be outside abortion clinics, the constitutionally appropriate response in a public forum is for the listener to walk away."
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. Looking back on Hill v. Colorado, Harvard Prof. Laurence Tribe observed that the case was "slam-dunk simple" and the decision "slam-dunk wrong." It is time for the Supreme Court to right that wrong.
In the article it talks about women having the right to have an abortion if they think that they cant take care of the baby or they just dont want the baby.