U.S. Supreme Court will hear Mass. “buffer zone” case

U.S. Supreme Court. Wikipedia Commons photo, public domain.
U.S. Supreme Court. Wikipedia Commons photo, public domain.

As a petition for a 35-foot so-called “buffer zone” is being made to the the Concord, NH, city council, an announcement today from the U.S. Supreme Court may have some bearing on the Council’s response.

The Court agreed to hear in its next session a case involving a Massachusetts buffer zone. In McCullen v. Coakley, pro-life advocates of free speech are challenging a ruling earlier this year by the First Circuit Court of Appeals upholding a 35-foot zone around Massachusetts abortion facilities. The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case this fall.

Will Concord officials want to pursue a measure similar to one pending Supreme Court review? We’ll find out July 8 when the City Council has its next meeting. I plan to be there. [note, added 7/3/13: the agenda for the July meeting does not include the “buffer zone” petition.]

As The Susan B. Anthony List posted on its site in response to the Court’s announcement, “We shall see whether the Court agrees that free speech includes sidewalk counseling.”

Author: Ellen Kolb

New Hampshire-based writer, activist, hiker.