| Breyer|| 1997|
| Paul Schenck and Dwight Saunders v. Pro-Choice Network of Western New York, et al.|
519 U.S. 357 (more)
117 S. Ct. 855
Rehnquist, joined by unanimous (Parts I, II-A); Stevens, O'Connor, Scalia, Kennedy, Souter, Thomas, Ginsburg (Part II-C); Stevens, O'Connor, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer (Parts II-B, II-D)
Scalia, joined by Kennedy, Thomas
Supreme Court of the United States
Hill v Colorado, Bellotti v Baird, McCullen v Coakley, Lamb's Chapel v Center M, Schenck v United States
Schenck v. Pro-Choice Network of Western New York Wikipedia
Schenck v. Pro-Choice Network of Western New York, 519 U.S. 357 (1997), was a case heard before the United States Supreme Court related to legal protection of access to abortion. It ruled in an 8-1 decision that "floating buffer zones" preventing protesters approaching people entering or leaving abortion clinics were unconstitutional, though "fixed buffer zones" around the clinics themselves remained constitutional. The Court's upholding the fixed buffer was the most important aspect of the ruling, because it was a common feature of injunctions nationwide.
Paul Schenck challenged a Federal District Court injunction that restricted "sidewalk counselors" from approaching abortion clinic patients and others with Bibles, tracts and pro-life messages. Because these protesters often violently harassed and intimidated patients and staff or prevented them from entering the clinic, the Court upheld the fixed buffer zone around the clinics, although it struck down the floating buffer zone around individuals because its indefinite and movable nature made it difficult to administer and risked overly restricting free speech.