|McCullen v. Coakley|
|Argued January 15, 2014
Decided June 26, 2014
|Full case name||Eleanor McCullen, et al., Petitioners v. "Martha Coakley, "Attorney General of Massachusetts, et al.|
|Citations||573 "U.S. ___ ("more)|
|Prior history||Statute upheld as to facial challenge, 573 "F. Supp. 2d 382 ("D. Mass. 2008); affirmed, 571 "F.3d 167 ("1st Cir. 2009); cert. denied, 130 S. Ct. 1881 (2010); statute upheld as to as applied challenge, 759 "F. Supp. 2d 133 (D. Mass. 2010); affirmed, 708 "F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2013)|
|The provisions of the Reproductive Health Care Facilities Act limiting protesting within 35 feet of an abortion clinic violate the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit reversed and remanded.|
|Majority||Roberts, joined by Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagan|
|Concurrence||Scalia, joined by Kennedy, Thomas|
|"U.S. Const. amend. I|
McCullen v. Coakley, 573 U.S. ___ (2014), is a "United States Supreme Court case. The Court unanimously held that "Massachusetts' 35-feet fixed "abortion "buffer zones, established via amendments to that state's Reproductive Health Care Facilities Act, violated the "First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution because it limited free speech too broadly.
In 1994, the US Congress passed the "Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. In 2000, Massachusetts passed an analogous state law, the Reproductive Health Care Facilities Act. In 2007, the act was amended to create a 35-foot buffer zone around reproductive health care facilities.
"Chief Justice "John Roberts delivered the opinion of the Court, writing that, "The buffer zones burden substantially more speech than necessary to achieve Massachusetts' asserted interests." He stated that Massachusetts failed to show that it tried less intrusive alternatives first:
Associate Justice "Samuel Alito also filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, stating that the law blatantly discriminates based on viewpoint. He noted that while anti-abortion supporters criticizing the clinic may not enter the zone, clinic counselors or other employees may do so, giving them opportunities to talk to prospective clients.
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