Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

7/1/2014 (1 year 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 (1 year 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More U.S.

American flag compared to Confederate flag and burned during protest against racism Watch

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Protesters in Tampa have burned down an American flag because of their belief that, like the Confederate flag, it signifies and uphold in the slavery and genocide from the country throughout history. Organizers of the protest denied they planned on burning the flag, ... continue reading


Is your state the laziest state in the country? The results may surprise you Watch

Image of Large portions of some states are inactive.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Mississippi has the greatest number of people not participating in healthy, physical activities than any other state in the country, according to research. Using the data collected from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about American's exercises, ... continue reading


Battle Lines for Religious Liberty and Same Sex 'Marriage' Set

Image of Ken Blackwell is the Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment at the Family Research Council.

By Ken Blackwell

This is Ground Zero for the war on religious liberty. The political left-including gay-marriage activists-are saying that your First Amendment rights concerning same sex 'marriage' are limited to what you say in church or in your private home. You can't live it ... continue reading


Two Differing Catholic Priestly Views on the SCOTUS Gay 'Marriage' Ruling Watch

Image of

By Matt C. Abbott

There have been numerous statements and articles written about the very disappointing (but not surprising) gay "marriage" ruling handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court. Most notable was the excellent statement issued by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, ... continue reading


Heat brews as New Black Panther Party affiliate and KKK affliate plan protests on same day in South Carolina's capital Watch

Image of The New Black Panther Party plans to protest in South Carolina about one month after the Charleston Church shooting.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A New Black Panther Party affiliate group is planning to stir up a rally in the state of capitol of South Carolina on July 18. On that same day, a protest is also planned by a KKK white power group. Heat is brewing as a possible face-off is developing in Columbia, SC. ... continue reading


Statue of Blessed Father Junipero Serra safe - for now at U.S. capitol Watch

Image of State legislatures have the authority to decide which two statues will represent their state at the U.S. Capitol.

By CNA/EWTN News

An effort to remove the statue of Bl. Junipero Serra from the U.S. Capitol has been set aside for the time being. Los Angeles (CNA/EWTN News) - A statue of Franciscan missionary and saint-to-be Father Junipero Serra has stood in the U.S. Capitol since 1931. However, a ... continue reading


On this Fourth of July, We Need a Declaration of Dependence Watch

Image of The real promise of the Declaration of the Declaration of Independence now cries out for those who believe in its promise to stand up for its true meaning and work to restore the unique experiment in ordered liberty which it offers for future generations.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Declaration of Independence was the birth certificate of the United States of America, a Nation often called the American Experiment because of the very fact that it was founded upon principles. The words are still memorized by schoolchildren and can bring a ... continue reading


Learning from the Wonderful Witness of 'Doubting' Thomas Watch

Image of Thomas the doubter became the Thomas the model believer, an example for each one of us. He is a great beacon of light for all of us as we cry out with him, MY LORD AND MY GOD!

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

What conclusion, dear brethren, do you come to? Surely it was not by chance that this chosen disciple, was missing in the first place? Or that on his return he heard, that hearing he doubted, that doubting he touched, and that touching he believed? It was by ... continue reading


Catholic Church in U.S. has weathered adversity before - and will emerge triumphant, historian says Watch

Image of As bishops warn of current threats to religious liberty in the United States, Catholics can take heart that such challenges have faced them before, and they have persevered, one Church historian says.

By Matt Hadro, CNA/EWTN News

As bishops warn of current threats to religious liberty in the United States, Catholics can take heart that such challenges have faced them before, and they have persevered, one Church historian says. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - "It's okay to realize that ... continue reading


After same-sex unions legalized, polygamous Montana trio demands same Watch

Image of The 46-year-old Nathan Collier owns a refrigeration business in Billings. He married 40-year-old Victoria in 2000. His second wife, Christine, was wed in a religious wedding ceremony in 2007 without a marriage license in order to avoid bigamy charges.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It was bound to happen. After the Supreme Court ruled same-sex unions legal in all 50 states, other proponents of non-traditional arrangements are clamoring for equality under the law. Nathan Collier, along with his wives Victoria and Christine have applied at ... 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, Genesis 32:23-33
23 That same night he got up and, taking his two ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 17:1, 2-3, 6-7, 8, 15
1 [Prayer Of David] Listen, Yahweh, to an upright ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:32-38
32 They had only just left when suddenly a man was ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 7th, 2015 Image

Bl. Ralph Milner
July 7: English martyr. He was born at Stocksteads, Hampshire, and was a ... 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