Thursday, June 26, 2014

The right-wing Supremes and abortion

I really ought to read the so-called conservatives' concurrences to today's Supreme Court decision in McCullen v. Coakley. The excerpts in the New York Times' piece on the case, though, leave me too steamed to bother.

Here's Scalia:

“Protecting people from speech they do not want to hear is not a function that the First Amendment allows the government to undertake in the public streets and sidewalks.”
It borders on outright lying to claim that what anti-abortion protesters do is mere "speech". They engage in intimidation and verbal abuse that stops just short of violence. All too often, in fact, their conduct doesn't stop short of violence. That Nino righteously harrumphs this absolute horseshit is all the proof you need that he is hopelessly beholden to his own prejudices.

He goes on:

“It blinks reality to say, as the majority does, that a blanket prohibition on the use of streets and sidewalks where speech on only one politically controversial topic is likely to occur — and where that speech can most effectively be communicated — is not content based.”
That statement "blinks reality". It is not speech the law in question (and similar laws elsewhere) is trying to address. It is conduct. What anti-abortion protesters seek is to change behavior not by persuasion, but by intimidation. Again, Nino's defense of that behavior is the attitude of one who has already made up his mind — and who knows he will never have to face the intimidation himself.

If I could wave a magic wand, I'd make him a woman. No, not just a woman, a poor pregnant woman in need of an abortion. I'd like to see you bleat your lofty rhetoric while running the gauntlet in front of most abortion clinics, you arrogant swine. Mere "speech", my ass.

[ADDENDUM: More than one observer has noted the irony that while the Supreme Court struck down "buffer zones" around abortion clinics with today's decision, it maintains a buffer zone around its own premises in Washington, D.C. What's the matter, o black-robed ones? Afraid of a little free speech?]

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