Director Carter Snead: SCOTUS Ruled Correctly on Buffer Zones

Author: Stephen Freddoso


On Thursday, June 26th, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) handed down its decision in McCullen v. Coakley, unanimously striking down a Massachusetts law that created 35-foot "buffer zones" around abortion clinic entrances. The Court ruled that the law violated the First Amendment.

O. Carter Snead, Professor of Law at Notre Dame Law School and the William P. and Hazel B. White Director of the University of Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture, said, "Today's Supreme Court decision in McCullen v. Coakley provides a narrow but important victory for the freedom (secured by the First Amendment) to convey peacefully the core message of the pro-life movement to women considering abortion, namely, 'We love you, we love your unborn child, and we're here to help.'" 

According to Professor Snead, "The Court's opinion confirms that laws (such as those in Massachusetts) that impose draconian restraints on this type of interaction on public streets and sidewalks are unconstitutional and cannot stand. McCullen v. Coakley is a unanimous rebuke to state legislatures around the country who might be considering such misguided and unconstitutional laws."