Thursday, June 26, 2014


Conservatives have tried to nullify the Roe v. Wade decision a hundred different ways since it was handed down, and have had success with most of them: long waiting periods, late-term abortion restrictions, ever-higher bars for abortion clinics and abortion doctors to clear. Harassment at clinics is just a mob-based form of conservative nullification. The Supreme Court effectively made it legal again today:
The Supreme Court unanimously struck down Massachusetts' abortion buffer zone law on Thursday, ruling in favor of anti-choice protesters who argued that being required to stay 35 feet away from clinic entrances is a violation of their freedom of speech. The decision rolls back a proactive policy intended to safeguard women's access to reproductive health care in the face of persistent harassment and intimidation from abortion opponents.
In other words, buffer zones are an attempt to nullify organized nullification of abortion rights by crowds. The meaning of the decision is that harassers can nullify, but the law is restrained from nullifying back.

What's going to be OK now? Erin Matson, who's been a clinic escort and defender, has recounted some of what she's seen:


If this were being done to a despised class of voters, even conservatives would have a hard time arguing that it was no danger to the right to vote. But this is the reality of "sidewalk counseling" -- and a law that restrained it is gone.


And here's another effort to nullify the nullifiers being shot down by the Supreme Court:
In a rebuke to President Barack Obama, the Supreme Court struck down three of his recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board as unconstitutional....

The court ruled 9-0 that Obama's appointments were unconstitutional because the Senate was not truly in recess when he made them during a three-day break in pro forma meetings of the legislative body.
The NLRB has been a political football for a while now, but it literally would have ceased functioning without these recess appointments -- which surely was the point of GOP resistance to Obama appointees. As Alicia Bannon of NYU's Brennan Center for Justice wrote in January:
If President Obama had not repeatedly exercised the recess appointment power to maintain an NLRB quorum, its operations would have been paralyzed for approximately two years during his presidency.
(The board, which is supposed to have five members, was down to two until a pair of recess appointments by President Obama in 2010; the Supreme Court ruled that year that a two-member NLRB couldn't issue rulings. The recess appointments that led to today's Supreme Court decision happened in 2012.)

Conservative nullification is supposed to be the last word; as soon as countermeasures are taken, that's when the process becomes objectionable. That's what the Court told us today.


Raymond Smith said...

Maybe it is past time to nullify the Supreme Court by putting limits of 5 yrs per judge.

Victor said...

Btw - if you want to protest the SCOTUS, believe me, you can't get within even close to 35 feet from any of the entrances, or the Judge's parking lot.

But women and their significant others entering clinics, can be harassed now, almost right to the doors.

So, we say "Goodbye" to "Buffer Zones."

And we say Hello" to "In-your-face Zones."

If these "Pro-lifers" weren't such monumental and righteous @$$holes, there never would have been "Buffer Zones" in the first place.

How about "Just Leave People the F*ck Alone Zones?"

Carol Ann said...

I haven't figured out how being harassed by someone getting in my face, screaming at me, pushing me and verbally threatening me is freedom of speech. If it hadn't to do with abortion, it would be a stand your ground instance, where a person subjected to this would be justified in shooting the harasser because she is in fear for her life.

Unknown said...
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Life As I Know It Now said...

The Supreme Court is a supreme joke. They proved that definitively when they "selected" W for president all those years ago.

Philo Vaihinger said...

@ Carol Ann. Way too strong a reading of demonstrators' rights, I agree.

They are not petitioning the government, and it is and always was ridiculous to regard laws protecting people on the street from harassment as violations of the First Amendment.

Do you think this court would agree homeless people have a right to scream in your face and follow you down the street unless you give them a dollar?

And the First Amendment, btw, applies to the states only by courtesy of judicial lying, anyway.

Buford said...

So, If one punches one of these "counselors" in the face, is that free speech protected by the first??? or is it protected by doctor/patient confidentiality??? we are witnessing the complete corruption of our courts...we are being "set up" so we cannot redress our government, so we cannot have our voices heard above the money megaphone...fascism is here, and dress in black...