When people think about the abortion debate, they think
Roe v. Wade
. However, the Supreme Court’s decision in
was only the beginning of legislation and controversy surrounding abortion rights. The
Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act
, signed into law by President Clinton in 1994, has sparked years of debate and discussion surrounding the First Amendment
right to peaceably assemble
and protest at—or near—abortion clinics. Namely, some argue that the language of the FACE Act is vague, ambiguous, and infringes upon First Amendment rights. The FACE Act’s failure to define the scope of certain concepts such as “threat,” “intimidation,” and “harassment” makes it difficult to determine what form of language or conduct falls within the right to peaceably assemble. Through examining the current law, remaining ambiguities within that law, as well as pending legislation, this blog post argues that clarity issues stemming from the FACE Act still exist today. These ambiguities should be resolved by crystallizing the language used in legislation surrounding protests at or near abortion clinics, and by specifying what constitutes “peaceful assembly” under the First Amendment.
Read More... (Abortion Ambiguities Remain Post-FACE Act)
| Posted by Elizabeth C. Nye on Wed. April 6, 2016 11:33 AM
Categories: Freedom of Association, Freedom of Speech, Public Health
Do tour guide licensing requirements violate the Free Speech Clause? In the past year, tour guides in two major tourist-destination cities challenged licensing schemes to two different results.
For guides in the city of New Orleans, the Fifth Circuit held that the enforcement of tour guide regulations served an important governmental purpose and was within the confines of its police power to implement.
Kagan v. City of New Orleans, La.
, 753 F.3d 560 (5th Cir. 2014),
135 S. Ct. 1403, 191 L. Ed. 2d 361 (2015). The D.C. Circuit struck down a similar Washington D.C. regulation on the grounds that the government interest was not great enough, nor was the regulation sufficiently tailored to pass an intermediate scrutiny test.
Edwards v. D.C.
, 755 F.3d 996 (D.C. Cir. 2014). The D.C. Circuit opinion concluded that while content-neutral, the licensing scheme was not implemented in the least restrictive way possible, a requirement for even facially-neutral laws.
Read More... (Unlicensed and Unheard: Stifling Segway Speech)
| Posted by Mia B. Ragent on Mon. February 22, 2016 12:18 PM
Categories: Court Rulings, Freedom of Speech