Samiksha Jaiswal

Schenck v. Pro Choice Network of Western New York

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Concur/dissent  Breyer
End date  1997
Full case name  Paul Schenck and Dwight Saunders v. Pro-Choice Network of Western New York, et al.
Citations  519 U.S. 357 (more) 117 S. Ct. 855
Majority  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)
Concur/dissent  Scalia, joined by Kennedy, Thomas
Ruling court  Supreme Court of the United States
Similar  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, 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.

References

Schenck v. Pro-Choice Network of Western New York Wikipedia


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