BOSTON (CBS) – Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision discarding the Massachusetts abortion-clinic buffer-zone law as unconstitutional evokes some memories I’d just as soon forget.
I covered the murder of two Planned Parenthood employees in Brookline by a crazed anti-abortion zealot back in 1994, and I vividly recall the terror it instilled in the community. Abortion is legal, and its providers and their patients have a right to go about their business free from intimidation and harassment.
But as the court unanimously ruled, those who oppose abortion and want to share their views with women considering one also have constitutionally-protected rights.
It is now up to the legislature to find a new solution that respects everyone’s rights, and I’m sure they can and will do so. But our political elites might also take this opportunity to mull over a comment by one of the justices yesterday, that the buffer-zone law “discriminates based on viewpoint.”
That is the result of an instinct for overreach by the state that our leaders often have trouble controlling.
In reaction to 9/11, we saw new surveillance laws swept in that, we now know, sometimes overstepped their bounds.
Here in our one-party state, political correctness, or sometimes a commendable desire to “do the right thing,” can at times abridge individual rights. You may recall the 1995 Supreme Court ruling that a gay-rights group could not force organizers of the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade to include them, another unanimous decision that united the court’s liberals and conservatives.
The courts are trying to tell us something.
But are we listening?
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