Friday, February 14, 2014

Federal Judges Say The Darnedest Things

Do you find her argument persuasive?
     A local Evangelical family filed suit in U.S. District Court this past Wednesday to overturn a 39 foot buffer zone the City of Portland, Maine, has imposed on those who protest outside the Planned Parenthood abortion facility (see article here in unbiased, even-handed local paper).  Curiously, that same day another federal judge ruled that the same City of Portland could not prohibit panhandlers from standing on median
strips in the middle of busy streets to ply their trade, as this was a violation of their First Amendment right to free speech.

   Let’s see now.  The pro-life demonstrators are protesting the intentional taking of innocent human life, and laws that permit, even encourage, the same; the panhandlers are simply asking for money.  The pro-life
Random loiterers?
people are seeking to stand in close proximity to the building where the atrocity they are protesting is being committed in order to draw a direct and concrete connection to the act; the panhandlers are not doing anything specific to the traffic medians, other than looking for a spot where they can get more people to part with their spare change.  The pro-lifersare standing on a public sidewalk specifically intended and designed for human pedestrian use; the panhandlers are perched between lanes of moving traffic upon narrow concrete medians that were not engineered for the purpose.  The court has ruled that the panhandlers’ activities are protected by the free speech guarantees of the U.S. Constitution.  Do we have any bets on how the court will rule in the case of the pro-life demonstrators?