Buffer Zones Are Gone

SCOTUS has found Massachusetts “buffer zones” around abortion clinics to be unconstitutional. This doesn’t surprise me. I am, however, stunned to learn this was a unanimous decision. Some guy actually is arguing that liberals won.

True, Roberts’s opinion, joined by the court’s four doubtless relieved liberals, struck down the buffer as a violation of the free-speech rights of pro-life activists who seek to converse with women who might be seeking abortions. But the crucial element in the opinion — the one that got the liberals on board and enraged the conservatives — is that Roberts said the law was neutral with respect to the content of speech as well as the viewpoint of the speakers. That conclusion protected the possibility of other laws protecting women seeking abortions that pay more attention to what Roberts said was missing here, namely proof that the law was narrowly tailored. For the liberals, that was enough to get on board.

I’m reading that Don Scalia is furious with the majority opinion, which apparently stopped short of declaring open season on abortion providers.

I haven’t had time to wrap my head around this. However, I do think that if the anti-abortion “protesters” were handled like the public nuisances, dangerous bullies and sometimes terrorists they actually are, we wouldn’t need “buffer zones.” As I wrote in my book,

Let’s try a thought experiment: Let’s say a number of people decide that banks are evil. This group then targets banks to picket. But they don’t stop with picketing. They chain themselves to doors. They try to stop bank customers from entering. They yell at people to keep their money at home and not let it mingle with the infernal financial system. They set up websites displaying photos and names of bank employees and where they live, hinting that maybe somebody could just eliminate these people. Banks are vandalized and even bombed. Some bank managers are assassinated.

Now, how many nanoseconds would pass before law enforcement and the FBI call this movement domestic terrorism and shut it down? No one outside the anti-bank cult would stand for this. But when the context involves women, sex, and religion instead of money and business, somehow, it’s different.

It’s only because the well-being and concerns of women are not taken seriously that the buffer zones were necessary.

See also “Do what we tell you to do, or we will kill you” and an extended excerpt from my book here.

16 thoughts on “Buffer Zones Are Gone

  1. Btw – if you want to protest the SCOTUS, believe me, you can’t get within even close to 35 feet from any of the entrances, or the Judge’s parking lot.

    But women and their significant others entering clinics, can be harassed now, almost right to the doors.

    So, we say “Goodbye” to “Buffer Zones.”

    And we say Hello” to “In-your-face Zones.”

    If these “Pro-lifers” weren’t such monumental and self-righteous @$$holes, there never would have been “Buffer Zones” in the first place.

    How about “Just Leave People the F*ck Alone Zones?”

    As to your point about the Banksters, maha, just take a look at how the OWS innocents were treated.
    Hounded, maced, arrested, etc…

  2. Rude Pundit has a great post about pro-choice people treating churches the way pro-life people treat women’s health clinics. The law would come down like a fucking hammer.

  3. Rude Pundit has a great post about pro-choice people treating churches the way pro-life people treat women’s health clinics. The law would come down like a fucking hammer.

  4. Weren’t buffer zones created wherever George W. Bush and Cheney appeared while in office?

  5. “Rude Pundit has a great post about pro-choice people treating churches the way pro-life people treat women’s health clinics”

    I saw that, good concept, bad idea, why get in the same stink they live in?

    I was sitting on my ass today cutting grass, thinking about random shit. Then it dawned on me that a few thousand African-Americans along with I’m sure more than a few just plain old hippy liberals completely ruined the Sarah Palin, Ted (Canadian anchor baby) Cruz tea-bagger orgy of hate and smug. The media fuck-fest that was surely going to take place had old Chris McRacist won that senate seat just aint gonna happen now. As I turned the corner for another pass with the mower I developed a grin that lasted a good long while. Thank you Mississippi!!!!!


  6. So Scalia got the result he wanted, but in a concurrence joined by Justices Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas, he furiously disagreed with how Roberts did it.

    Anybody notice anything totally predictable here? Hint: Scalia- concurrence- Thomas. Thomas is like an appendage to Scalia. I guess somebody* counseled Clarence on his starting day on the court saying..Just don’t ask any questions, stroke your chin while looking scholarly, and vote however Scalia votes and you’ll be OK. You might also consider augmenting your act by writing a book to craft your image as someone who has overcome obstacles, adversity, and affirmative action. Write it with some catchy title like , Up from poverty, Man child in the promise land, Folks just called me Patches, or On my Grandfather’s knee – the story of Clarence Thomas..

    * John Danforth?

  7. Scalia refers to the killers who stalk the abortion clinics as sidewalk counselors.. I mean really, that’s almost as sick as calling torture — enhanced interrogations.

  8. I agree with all you say, dear Maha, as (nearly) always); but “Don Scalia”? Let’s not have that. We’re better than that.

  9. “Seek to converse” — good grief, what a cynical term for screaming, threats and flying spittle.

    The outcome of this decision is about as certain as anything: assaults, firebombings, deaths.

  10. Not seeing the SCOTUS logic. It would seem that they are saying that MA has other avenues to deal with the harassment and violence, but that seems completely ignorant of the actual situation at some of these clinics. I can’t help but feel that this is part of the continuing split between the world elites think we live in and the world that we proles actually live in.

  11. OT, and wow, completely amazing article in Forbes, of all places, “Public Relations Debate About Global Warming Heats Up”. The title is misleading – author provides amazing evidence/background about who is taking global warming seriously…

    The Pentagon
    Shell Oil
    Deutsche Bank
    The United Nations
    99% of the world’s scientists
    U.S. Government
    Most other governments around the world.

    …and talks a great deal about how the denialists have used the same tactics as the tobacco lobbyists who tried to pretend that smoking was harmless.

    Before long, we’ll be hearing from Republicans who will claim they were against global warming all along.

  12. “Seek to converse”
    Yeah, I remember seeing photos of downed American pilots being paraded through the streets of Hanoi while crowds of Vietnamese civilians were seeking to converse with them.

  13. A few good videos of “sidewalk counseling” and we’ll be having a more educated populace. That won’t hurt the general population’s awareness a bit. The ubiquity of cell phone video will show what is happening quite well, I suspect.

  14. Bill, it’s not the open-carry of cell phones that worries me. You’re right, that might prove to be a help.
    It’s the other open-carry I worry about.

  15. Pingback: We Don’t Call ‘Em American Taliban for Nothing | The Mahablog

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