Skip to comments.Pittsburgh’s Abortion Clinic Buffer Zone Law Upheld
Posted on 10/18/2019 1:02:26 PM PDT by Morgana
A Pittsburgh ordinance drawing a 15-foot buffer zone around medical facilities where abortions are performed doesnt violate the free speech rights of sidewalk counselors, the Third Circuit said.
The ordinance by its terms doesnt apply to anti-abortion protesters who engage in peaceful, one-on-one conversations with people entering the clinics, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit said Oct. 18. Thus, its valid as applied to those protesters, the court said.
The ordinance prohibits four activities: congregating, patrolling, picketing, or demonstrating within 15 feet of a hospital or health-care facility entrance. The sidewalk counselors activities dont meet the definition of any of these terms, the court said.
The ordinance is content-neutral, the court added. It doesnt treat anti-abortion speech differently from any peaceful one-on-one conversations about other subjects within the buffer zone, the court said. The ordinance would be highly problematic if it did, the court noted.
The court also said the ordinance is valid on its face, as its narrowly tailored to serve significant governmental interests. The interests the city sought to protectensuring unimpeded access to health-care services, protecting public safety, and properly allocating law enforcement servicesare legitimate, the court said.
The ordinance is narrow in scope, the court added. It applies only to a relatively small area and limited types of protests, it said. The ordinance doesnt prevent protesters, demonstrators, or picketers from being seen and heard, or from speaking outside the zone, it said.
Judge Cheryl Ann Krause wrote the opinion, in which Judge Morton I. Greenberg joined.
Judge Thomas M. Hardiman wrote a separate concurring opinion.
Alliance Defending Freedom and Lawrence G. Paladin Jr. of Pittsburgh represented the sidewalk counselors. The City of Pittsburgh Law Department represented the city.
Life Legal Defense Foundation, Pro Life Action League, Sidewalk Advocates for Life, Pacific Justice Institute, Concerned Women for America, and National Legal Foundation filed amicus briefs supporting the counselors.
The National Abortion Federation, Womens Law Project, and International Municipal Lawyers filed amicus briefs supporting the city.
The case is Bruni v. City of Pittsburgh, 3d Cir., No. 18-1084, 10/18/19.
I thought the supreme court ruled buffer zones were illegal?
The end result of Catholic voters in Pittsburgh being willing to vote only for Democrats. Because Daddy, Grandpa and Great Grandpa did. Because da union sez they’re for DA WORKIN’ MAN!
You all have blood on your hands.
A Zero appointee and an EIGHTY-SIX year old Reagan appointee who should’ve retired years ago. Disgraceful.
Krause, Cheryl Ann
Born 1968 in St. Louis, MO
Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Nominated by Barack Obama on February 6, 2014, to a seat vacated by Dolores Korman Sloviter. Confirmed by the Senate on July 7, 2014, and received commission on July 9, 2014.
University of Pennsylvania, B.A., 1989
Stanford Law School, J.D., 1993
Law clerk, Hon. Alex Kozinski, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1993-1994
Law clerk, Hon. Anthony M. Kennedy, Supreme Court of the United States, 1994-1995
Law clerk in private practice, San Francisco, California, 1995-1996
Lecturer and visiting scholar, Stanford Law School, 1995-1996
Private practice, New York City, 1996-1997
Assistant U.S. attorney, Criminal Division, Southern District of New York, 1997-2002
Lecturer in law, Columbia Law School, 2002
Private practice, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2003-2014
Lecturer in law, University of Pennsylvania Law School, 2003-2006, 2010-2014
Outside counsel, Philadelphia Board of Ethics, 2007-2014
Adjunct professor of law, University of Pennsylvania Law School, 2014-
Greenberg, Morton Ira
Born 1933 in Philadelphia, PA
Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Nominated by Ronald Reagan on February 11, 1987, to a seat vacated by Leonard I. Garth. Confirmed by the Senate on March 20, 1987, and received commission on March 23, 1987. Assumed senior status on June 30, 2000.
University of Pennsylvania, B.A., 1954
Yale Law School, LL.B., 1957
Law clerk, Office of the Attorney General, State of New Jersey, 1957-1958
Deputy attorney general, State of New Jersey, 1958-1960
Private practice, Cape May, New Jersey, 1960-1971
County attorney, Cape May County, New Jersey, 1970-1971
First assistant prosecutor, Cape May, New Jersey, 1971
Assistant attorney general, State of New Jersey, 1971-1973
Judge, Superior Court of New Jersey, 1973-1987; Law Division, 1973-1976; Chancery Division, 1976-1980; Appellate Division, 1980-1987
These clown judges are trying to dance around the Constitution but falling flat on their faces.
See Alliance Defending Freedom’s take:
By Maureen Collins Posted on: | October 18, 2019
It is an American pastime and constitutional right to exercise free speech on public sidewalks.
But the people of Pittsburgh have been denied this right. City officials have ignored the First Amendment and created censorship zones around many businesses, including abortion facilities.
This is unconstitutional, not to mention that the U.S. Supreme Court has already struck down such policies. Thankfully, pro-life sidewalk counselors decided to challenge this in court. And they just got some very good news. Lets take a look at their case.
Who: Pro-life Sidewalk Counselors
Nikki Bruni was listening to the radio when the topic of abortion came up. She found herself deeply affected by the discussion, and it motivated her to address an issue that she realized was damaging many people.
Today, Nikki is a sidewalk counselor in the city of Pittsburgh.
Nikki and her colleagues provide an important pro-life witness by peacefully standing on sidewalks in front of abortion clinics. They quietly pray for the mothers and unborn children inside. When men and women walk to and from the clinic, they speak compassionately to them about the development of their child and offer to help them in any way they can.
But their right to do this was being threatened.
What: Bruni v. City of Pittsburgh
In 2005, Pittsburgh passed an ordinance that allowed government officials to ban leafleting and other free speech around the facilities of abortionists, eye doctors, dentists, and any therapeutic, healing, or health-building treatment provider.
While it may seem odd for such an ordinance to lump such different facilities together, the laws hidden intent is evident. It targets pro-life counselors who stand on public sidewalks outside of abortion facilities.
How do we know? Because the city applies the ordinance to prohibit pro-life speech in the censorship zones, but allows abortion facility employees to speak there.
This clearly violates the freedom of speech, and it contradicts Supreme Court precedent from McCullen v. Coakley. In that case, the Court unanimously struck down a similar law in Massachusetts, saying that it violated the First Amendment.
Thats why Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a lawsuit against the city.
When: September 2014Present
ADF attorneys first challenged the Pittsburgh law in federal court in September of 2014.
In March of 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania refused to halt the unfair law and partially dismissed the lawsuit. So, ADF attorneys appealed the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
The Third Circuit said in June of 2016 that the lower court had failed to follow Supreme Court precedent. The court even said in its opinion that the Pittsburgh law imposes the same kind of burden on speech as the Massachusetts law struck down by the Supreme Court in McCullen.
Despite this, the lower court issued another ruling upholding Pittsburghs anti-free speech zones in November 2017.
So ADF attorneys appealed to the Third Circuitin January 2018. Oral arguments for the case were held in February of this year.
And on October 18, 2019 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that Pittsburgh can no longer use censorship zones to silence peaceful pro-life conversations on sidewalks.
Where: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh adopted this ordinance in 2005. When Mayor Bill Peduto took office in 2014, he began enforcing this ordinance, which he originally voted for as a city councilman.
Why: To protect the freedom of speech.
Every American has the God-given right to speak freelyincluding pro-life counselors.
Americans have the freedom to talk to whomever they please on public sidewalks, points out ADF Legal Counsel Elissa Graves. That includes peaceful pro-lifers who just want to offer information and help to women who would like to know their options.
The Bottom Line
Every American has the right to speak on public sidewalksincluding pro-life sidewalk counselors.Thankfully, the Third Circuit agreed and said that Pittsburghs censorship zone cannot be applied to sidewalk counselors.
But of course ANTIFA can beat people with 4’ clubs right up to the front door of our events.
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