The US Supreme Court turned away anti-abortion protesters Monday, attempting to challenge a court-ordered “buffer zone.” The buffer zone limits picketing outside a doctor’s home.
The protesters claimed the buffer zone violated their right to free speech.
Justice Antonin Scalia said the ruling on the case from a lower court “makes a mockery of First Amendment law.”
“This case approves a degree of restriction upon free speech that is unparalleled in the opinions of this court,” wrote Scalia.
Anti-abortion protesters Michael Lawson and Edie Tucker argued that “the right to engage in peaceful picketing outweighs the right of the residents to privacy in their homes.”
A Florida judge’s order requiring protesters to stay at least 36 feet from an abortion clinic was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1994. Then in 1996, the court declared that protesters could confront patients on public sidewalks as long as they stayed a minimum of 15 feet from clinic entrances