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Scalia: There’s ‘Entirely Separate, Abridged’ 1st Amendment for Pro Choicers

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrote a concurring opinion in McCullen v Coakley, today’s decision overturning Massachusetts’ thirty-five foot buffer zone around abortion clinics, caviling that pro choice advocates enjoy a special version of the First Amendment to which even this decision unnecessarily caters.

“Today’s opinion carries forward this Court’s practice of giving abortion-rights advocates a pass when it comes to suppressing the free-speech rights of their opponents,” Scalia wrote. “There is an entirely separate, abridged edition of the First Amendment applicable to speech against abortion.”

Scalia argued the law had already been rejected on lesser grounds, and thus didn’t need to be rejected on strict scrutiny grounds pertaining to the content of speech. He pointed to a case argued earlier in the term in which the Court had felt no need to address the strict scrutiny arguments when a law was already rejected, but argued that the presence of abortion in this case caused everybody to freak out.

“The second half of the Court’s analysis today, invalidat­ing the law at issue because of inadequate ‘tailoring,’ is certainly attractive to those of us who oppose an abortion­ speech edition of the First Amendment,” Scalia wrote. “But think again. This is an opinion that has Something for Everyone, and the more significant portion continues the onward march of abortion-speech-only jurisprudence.”

Read the whole opinion HERE.

[Image via Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]

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