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'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2016
Universal:
Small Farmers: That small farmers may receive a just reward for their precious labor.
Evangelization: African Christians: That Christians in Africa may give witness to love and faith in Jesus Christ amid political-religious conflicts.



Comments


More U.S.

No Phony Truces in the Battle to Block Most Anti-Life, Liberal Court in a Generation

Image of The United States Supreme Court

By J. Kenneth Blackwell

While much of our attention is on the Presidential race, the looming battle over a Supreme Court nomination merits no less attention.  The battle lines are clear in this nomination and the future of the Court and our Constitutional principles are at ... continue reading


Fr Frank Pavone - Amoris Laetitia: Pope Francis' Encouraging Roadmap for Families Watch

Image of Fr Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life

By Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life

Amoris Laetitia is a timely and loving exhortation for families towards genuine charity that begins within the nuclear family. It can be described as a new road-map for a culture that has taken a sad and tragic detour. The Joy of Love recognizes women's ... continue reading


Catherine of Siena: We Need Saints for this Missionary Age Watch

Image of Today, in the Roman Catholic Liturgical Calendar, we commemorate one of the greatest women saints of Christian history, Catherine of Siena.  While praying at Peter's tomb, she experienced the great weight of the Church fall on her shoulders.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Father, raise up women like Catherine of Siena for this new missionary age of your Church. Women who are so in love with you, and so conformed to the Image of your Son, they can do for your Church in this hour, what she did in her own. Saints are a gift for the ... continue reading


Christian student shockingly dropped from master's program for practicing religious rights Watch

Image of Andrew Cash was discriminated against for practicing his religious rights (YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Andrew Cash practiced his religious rights at Missouri State University - and was dismissed from the master's program in counseling as a result. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the Catholic News Agency, Cash was referring same-sex couples to another ... continue reading


Not a newsflash, U.S. government authorized use of propaganda on American people...in 2013. Here's who to blame Watch

Image of Obama signed the amendment into law in 2013.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Does the news seem a little too pro-American to you? Does it seem reporters pull punches and that the real issues are ignored? Perhaps that's the result of a quiet change to the law that took place in 2013. A law banning the use of government propaganda on the American ... continue reading


The cost of incarceration: What can we do? Watch

Image of What can we do about overpopulated prisons and ex-cons' ability to find work (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)?

By Matt Hadro (CNA)

Experts from across the political spectrum are calling for criminal justice reform, as a new White House report shows the human and economic costs of the current justice system. Washington D.C. (CNA) - "This is a singular moment in one of the most challenging issues ... continue reading


Sickening portrayal of Jesus pinned to a dartboard presented as art in university library Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

An appalling portrayal of Jesus plastered to a dartboard was posted up as artwork inside the Art Library at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The "art piece," titled "Vitruvian Man," shows Jesus nailed to the dartboard ... continue reading


Which bathroom should you use? And why is this a question? Watch

Image of Figuring out which restroom to use isn't supposed to be a dilemma.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The American people are seemingly obsessed with public restrooms these days and precisely how people use the potty. The fear is being stoked by concerns that individuals who "self-identify" as the opposite sex, will take advantage of liberal policies and assault ... continue reading


Prayer Is the Path to Real Freedom Watch

Image of Prayer is the lifeline of a Christian

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Jesus said to his disciples: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. CHESAPEAKE, VA. ... continue reading


Why is Obama now sending 250 MORE troops to Syria? Watch

Image of U.S. President Barack Obama will be sending more troops to the Middle East.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

U.S. President Barack Obama announced 250 more special operations forces are to be deployed to Syria within the next few weeks. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) -  Obama stated: "Just as I approved additional support for Iraqi forces against ISIL, I've decided to ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 15:22-31
22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 57:8-9, 10-12
8 Awake, my glory, awake, lyre and harp, that I may awake the ... Read More

Gospel, John 15:12-17
12 This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 29th, 2016 Image

St. Catherine of Siena
April 29: St. Catherine of Siena was born during the ... Read More