United States Supreme Court
MADSEN v. WOMEN’S HEALTH CTR., INC.(1994)
Argued: April 28, 1994
Decided: June 30, 1994
In sum, we uphold the noise restrictions and the 36-foot buffer zone around the clinic entrances and driveway because they burden no more speech than necessary to eliminate the unlawful conduct targeted by the state court’s injunction. We strike down as unconstitutional the 36-foot buffer zone as applied to the private property to the north and west of the clinic, the “images observable” provision, the 300-foot no-approach zone around the clinic, and the 300-foot buffer zone around the residences, because these provisions sweep more broadly than necessary to accomplish the permissible goals of the injunction. Accordingly, the judgment of the Florida Supreme Court is
Affirmed in part, and reversed in part.
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
on writ of certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the first circuit
[June 26, 2014]
Chief Justice Roberts delivered the opinion of the Court.
A Massachusetts statute makes it a crime to knowingly stand on a “public way or sidewalk” within 35 feet of an entrance or driveway to any place, other than a hospital, where abortions are performed. Mass. Gen. Laws, ch. 266, §§120E½(a), (b) (West 2012). Petitioners are individuals who approach and talk to women outside such facilities, attempting to dissuade them from having abortions. The statute prevents petitioners from doing so near the facilities’ entrances….
Petitioners wish to converse with their fellow citizens about an important subject on the public streets and sidewalks—sites that have hosted discussions about the issues of the day throughout history. Respondents assert undeniably significant interests in maintaining public safety on those same streets and sidewalks, as well as in preserving access to adjacent healthcare facilities. But here the Commonwealth has pursued those interests by the extreme step of closing a substantial portion of a traditional public forum to all speakers. It has done so without seriously addressing the problem through alternatives that leave the forum open for its time-honored purposes. The Commonwealth may not do that consistent with the First Amendment.
The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
It is so ordered.
A news item:
Daniel Lippman @dlippman
NEW: Justice Brett Kavanaugh had to exit through the rear of Morton’s on Wednesday night after DC protestors showed up out front. A Morton’s rep told me: “Politics … should not trample the freedom at play of the right to congregate and eat dinner.”
5:41 AM · Jul 8, 2022
The statement from the Morton’s rep: “Honorable Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh and all of our other patrons at the restaurant were unduly harassed by unruly protestors while eating dinner at our Morton’s restaurant.” …
… “Politics, regardless of your side or views, should not trample the freedom at play of the right to congregate and eat dinner. There is a time and place for everything. Disturbing the dinner of all of our customers was an act of selfishness and void of decency.”
One of many winning responses:
Sorry but an anti-witch judge from 400 years ago told me I should shout at demons while they’re eating.
7:54 AM · Jul 8, 2022
A few more responses:
“The right to eat dinner.”
Sounds like a privacy right not identified or listed in the Constitution so therefore, it doesn’t exist.
There is no “right” to eat at a restaurant in the Constitution. There is a right to protest though. And Kavanaugh, Alito, Gorsuch, Barrett, Thomas deserve to be protested everywhere they go.
thoughts and prayers and doggie bags
So his night out was aborted?
Which amendment gives him the right to eat dinner? And if you find it, can you tell the millions of Americans who struggle to put dinner on the table every night? I think they might have something to say about the right to dinner.
The real story is who paid for his steak
So it’s ok that my life, as a woman, has drastically changed specifically because of this man, but he should not be allowed to feel uncomfortable? Got it.
If the protestors were outside, how did that trample his freedom to congregate & eat his dinner INSIDE?
If he thinks leaving out the back door is inconvenient wait till he finds out women have to travel to different states for medical care.
There’s much more…