Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

7/1/2014 (6 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

On Thursday, June 26, 2014, in a unanimous opinion styled McCullen v. Coakley, eighteen years after the Supreme Court opinion in the Schenck case, the Court has finally finished the job. They put an end to bubble or buffer zones preventing Pro-Life speech. Though all nine Justices voted to strike down the buffer zones, they did not all agree on the reasons for doing so.

The scourge of procured abortion as some kind of acceptable choice, now protected by the police power of the State, has progressed through the suppression of the truth about what really occurs in every procured abortion.  Very few people argue that the child in the womb is not a human life any longer. They simply prevent the mothers and fathers of those little boys and girls from hearing the truth. I encourage all Pro-Life counselors and those who know a special call to service standing outside of these horrid places where children are killed in the womb to take courage from this Supreme Court decision in McCullen v. Coakley and redouble your efforts.

Pictured: Father Paul Schenck before he was a catholic priest, on the cover of Life Magazine. On Thursday, June 26, 2014, in a unanimous opinion styled McCullen v. Coakley, eighteen years after the Supreme Court opinion in the Schenck case, the Court finally finished the job. They put an end to bubble or buffer zones preventing Pro-Life speech.

Pictured: Father Paul Schenck before he was a catholic priest, on the cover of Life Magazine. On Thursday, June 26, 2014, in a unanimous opinion styled McCullen v. Coakley, eighteen years after the Supreme Court opinion in the Schenck case, the Court finally finished the job. They put an end to bubble or buffer zones preventing Pro-Life speech.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/1/2014 (6 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: McCullen v. Coakley, Schenck v Pro-Choice Network of Western New York, buffer zones, bubble zones, free speech, First Amendment, Rob Schenck, Fr Paul Schenck, Jay Sekulow, Deacon Keith Fournier


WASHINGTON,DC (Catholic Online) - During the years which I spent as the Executive Director of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) in the 1990's, I appeared as co-counsel with Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow on several Supreme Court cases.

One particular case stands as a sort of bookend for that chapter of a missionary life at the intersection of faith and culture. It was a federal court case I appeared in, right before Jay Sekulow became the Chef Counsel and I settled into the role of Executive Director, helping to build that public interest law firm into prominence. 

It began in the Western District Federal Court in New York and was called Schenck v Pro-Choice Network of Western New York. It made its way through the Federal system and, many years later, was successfully argued by Jay at the US Supreme Court in 1996.

It was also the last case I participated in before I left that post in 1997. I left to continue further theological studies after my ordination to the Clergy, the Order of Deacon in the Catholic Church 1996. I also left to pursue other efforts at the intersection of faith and culture where I still stand.

The case arose out of one of many acts of heroic witness to truth about the sanctity of every human life given by now Father Paul Schenck, a dear friend, holy man, prophetic voice and significant figure in Pro-Life history. At the time, Fr Paul was a protestant minister and one of the major leaders in the great human rights movement of our age, the pro-Life movement.

It was the heroic witness of he and his identical twin brother, Rev. Rob Schenck, which encouraged me in my decision to leave Steubenville, Ohio in 1991 to move to Virginia Beach at the invitation of Pat Robertson to help start the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). 

I sat at the counsel table on October 16, 1996 in the Supreme Court of the United States. It was a privilege to serve as as co-counsel to one of the best Advocates in contemporary American history, Jay Sekulow. When Jay finished his argument, I was convinced that he had succeeded in keeping the door open for the Pro-Life message.

In 1997 the US Supreme Court released its opinion. and he had succeeded - at least partially. He was able to persuade them to burst the floating bubble zone which worked to block some pro-life speech in New York.
 
The New York law which required those sharing the Pro-life message to remain 15 feet away from women considering an abortion was clearly an unconstitutional infringement on Free Speech. The floating buffer or bubble zones actually accompanied the person to whom the Pro-Life speaker was communicating and applied even on public sidewalks. Only Pro-Life speech was precluded.

Those floating buffer zones were properly struck down by the US Supreme Court as unconstitutional.

However, the efforts of those who oppose the fundamental human right to life and want to prevent Pro-Life speech did not end with that case. The opponents of the Right to Life for our youngest neighbors want to stop the truth about life from being shared outside of the centers where our youngest neighbors in the womb are killed continued in various ways in several States.

In 2007, in my home State of Massachusetts, a constitutionally repugnant law was passed which made it a criminal act to stand on a public sidewalk within thirty five feet of an abortion facility. The State which had once boasted of believing in the robust interpretation of the First Amendment has now led the movement toward content based discrimination of speech.

This is only one more example of why the tired old political labels no longer apply in our day. What is liberal about content based discrimination of speech? How intolerant of opposing messages the new cultural revolutionaries have become while still calling themselves progressive.

On Thursday, June 26, 2014, in a unanimous opinion styled McCullen v. Coakley, eighteen years after the Supreme Court opinion in the Schenck case, the Court has finally finished the job. They put an end to bubble or buffer zones preventing Pro-Life speech. Though all nine Justices voted to strike down the buffer zones, they did not all agree on the reasons for doing so.

However, the end result was to complete the unfinished work of bursting the bubble, doing away with the buffer, which prevented the truth about life from being shared outside of abortion facilities. This case is tremendously important for all who know the objective truth that every single human person has a fundamental Right to Life.

The scourge of procured abortion as some kind of acceptable choice, now protected by the police power of the State, has progressed through the suppression of the truth about what really occurs in every procured abortion.  Very few people argue that the child in the womb is not a human life any longer. They simply prevent the mothers and fathers of those little boys and girls from hearing the truth.

I encourage all Pro-Life counselors and those who know a special call to service standing outside of these horrid places where children are killed in the womb to take courage from this Supreme Court decision in McCullen v. Coakley and redouble your efforts.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More U.S.

Disaffected Colorado teenager who tried to join ISIS gets four years in prison Watch

Image of After serving four years in prison, 19-year-old Shannon Conley must spend three years of supervised release and serve community service.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Poor choices made in youthful hast have consequences. Nineteen-year-old Shannon Conley, from Colorado has been sentenced to four years in prison for attempting to join Islamic State. At the heart of this disturbing story is an Internet romance that went ... continue reading


Coin collectors of the world eagerly line up to see 1822 Half Eagle at convention Watch

Image of Historically, nearly 18,000 of the $5 pieces were minted in 1822. As the concentration of gold was lowered in coins after 1834, most of the earlier coins were melted down for gold.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

One of the rarest coins in the U.S., the 1822 Half Eagle, originally worth only $5, will make its first public appearance in more than three decades in Long Beach this weekend. There are only three of the coins known still in existence. The coin will go on ... continue reading


California's Kern County declares state of FISCAL EMERGENCY with plunging gas prices Watch

Image of Supervisors adopted a plan to immediately begin scaling back county spending rather than making deep reductions all at once in July.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Kern County, in central California, relies heavily on its petroleum industry for tax revenues. While motorists nationwide are currently enjoying lower gas prices, this spells certain disaster for the County of Kern - officials there have declared a fiscal ... continue reading


Could terrorists attempt to attack the White House with a drone? Crash sparks debate over future use of drones in war Watch

Image of A small, four propeller drone, crashed on the White House lawn, spurring a discussion on whether drones may be used by terrorist groups in the future.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A two-foot-long, four propeller drone crashed onto the White House grounds yesterday, raising troubling questions that drones could be utilized by terrorists or other potential murderers to attack the White House or other U.S. government institutions that have ... continue reading


The Thrill of the Chaste: Matt C. Abbott Interviews Dawn Eden Watch

Image of Dawn Eden, author of the highly-acclaimed My Peace I Give You and the Catholic edition of The Thrill of the Chaste

By Matt C. Abbott

Being a member of the Mystical Body of Christ, and receiving Jesus' own Body and Blood in the Eucharist, has given me a deeper understanding of the meaning of being embodied. I see more clearly how chastity enables one to love fully in each relationship, in the ... continue reading


GOP teams up with Israeli prime minister to forcefully override Obama's Iran policy Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

House Speaker John Boehner is seeking to enlist Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to support a congressional plan to override President Obama's Iran policy on March 3. Boehner hopes to bring Netanyahu to a joint session of the House and Senate. Boehner ... continue reading


The Prophetic Connection Between the March for Life and the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

It is no accident that the March for Life always falls within the National Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. It is prophetic.We have been thrown together in a common defense of life in a western culture which has lost its moral compass. Our Marching together ... continue reading


Early Christian Deacon and Martyr Vincent Calls Us to Heroic Christian Witness in a Hostile Culture Watch

Image of Vincent was born in the Third Century in Huesca, Spain and born again to eternal life only four days into the fourth century. He lived in Saragossa where he served the holy Bishop Valerius as a Deacon.He was one of the scores of Christians who suffered brutal persecution under the evil Roman emperor named Diocletian. Diocletian is associated with the last of the ten persecutions of the nascent undivided Christian Church of the first millennium of our history.  Like many early deacons of the undivided Church such as Stephen, Lawrence and Ephrem, the hagiography which has been passed down through the Church records his holiness of life and heroic virtue. He lived the way he died, as a sign of the power of the Gospel and the truth of the presence of the Risen Jesus Christ in our midst.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Deacon Vincent was a man like us who encountered the same Risen Lord Jesus whom we have encountered. He struggled with the choices which always accompany living the Christian life in the midst of a culture which has squeezed God and His truth out of the ... continue reading


Caught in the act: Telephone scammers get comeuppance from plucky woman Watch

Image of Becoming pro-active, Rachel Fitzsimmons decided to take action in an effort to spread awareness so that others do not fall for the swindle.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Telephone solicitors threatening phony legal action are the bane of many people's existence. They typically prey upon "old-timers" who still have landlines in their homes and are home in the evenings. Rachel Fitzsimmons, of Denver, Colorado received such a call ... continue reading


Is Israel beholden to Obama? Should the president be able to hold the American people hostage via threat of veto? Republicans and Israeli prime minister say no! Watch

Image of Benjamin Netanyahu is set to speak before a joint session of Congress on March 3 about keeping nuclear capabilities out of the hands of Iran.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

On March 3, Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu will speak before the a joint session of the U.S. Congress, a move which is as much a show of support for Israel from the Republican dominated legislature as it is a rebuff of President Obama. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 10:32-39
32 Remember the great challenge of the sufferings ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 37:3-4, 5-6, 23-24, 39-40
3 Put your trust in Yahweh and do right, make your ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 4:26-34
26 He also said, 'This is what the kingdom of God is ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 30th, 2015 Image

St. Aldegunais
January 30: Virgin and abess, also known as Adelgundis, Aldegonde, or ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter