Right to Peaceably Assemble in Danger?

In an article I read, the Supreme Court overturned a Massachusetts state order that would install a 35-foot buffer zone outside of abortion clinics. This was in response to a history of violence by protesters, including two separate shootings in 1994. The Supreme Court overturned the decision overturned the ruling because they felt it limited the protesters’ right to peaceably assemble. This raises the question, ‘what constitutes as a reason to block one’s right to peaceably assemble?’ I firmly believe that this is a non-issue, the people are still able to protest outside of abortion clinics, they just have to remain 35 feet away. If I were to go to my local elementary school and whip my cock out on the playground, I would have to remain 100 feet away from schools. It’s simple cause and effect: if you do some stupid shit, the government will prohibit you from doing stupid shit in the future. One such example of people being barred from making bad choices is notorious hate groups such as Westboro Baptist Church. This church (or cult, depending on who you ask) are notorious for picketing at funerals to push their anti-gay agenda. Nick Wing (Huffpost) writes “St. Charles County, a suburb of St. Louis, passed a measure in 2010 banned picketing within 300 feet and one hour before or after any funeral or burial service. Anyone violating that ordinance would be charged with a misdemeanor and face a maximum $1,000 fine.” The hate church in this article tried doing some rock-headed actions, and as a result, they got essentially barred from doing so again. In this incident, they were effectively banned from protesting because their hate speech is not protected by the first amendment.

 

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/22/westboro-baptist-church-lawsuit_n_3797425.html

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