Monday, November 27, 2017

Abortion Clinic Buffer Zone Upheld

In Bruni v. City of Pittsburgh, (WD PA, Nov. 17, 2017), a Pennsylvania federal district court, in a case on remand from the 3rd Circuit (see prior posting), granted summary judgment to defendants in a case challenging Pittsburgh's ordinance that imposes a 15-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics and other health care facilities.  According to the court, "the undisputed evidence in this case demonstrates that the Ordinance places only a minimal burden on Plaintiffs’ First Amendment free speech rights."  The court went on:
Plaintiffs argue that the City should have considered any number of other alternatives prior to adopting the Ordinance, including targeted injunctions and/or the enforcement of antiharassment statutes.... [I]n light of the Court’s finding that the current law burdens very little speech to begin with, there is no reason to believe that any of these alternative measures would burden substantially less speech than does the current Ordinance.
BNA Daily Report for Executives [subscription required] reports on the decision.