But this case is less open-​​and-​​shut than scholars like Zick would like. Although the peti­tioners argue that the law is dis­crim­i­na­tory because it allows clinic employees to approach and speak with patients in the zone, although they’re not per­mitted to dis­cuss any­thing polit­ical. Martha Davis, a pro­fessor of law at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, says there’s no evi­dence that the law was enforced in an uneven way. More­over, the state of Massachusetts’s brief argues that the law focuses not on speech, but on con­duct. The demon­stra­tors can still make their views heard; after all, 35 feet is less than the length of two stan­dard parking spaces. They—and any other par­tisan protester—are pro­hib­ited from phys­i­cally com­pro­mising clinic access. They can keep talking to patients who are in the zone. They’ll just have to shout.


Read the article at The American Prospect →