The system is rigged.
JUN 26, 2018, 1:57 PM
One of the centerpieces of the Supreme Court’s First Amendment decisions is that the Constitution does not permit “viewpoint discrimination.” The government may, in certain limited cases, enact laws that place restrictions on speech — but discriminating between two opposing sides of a debate is a big no-no.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court created an “except when we do it” carve-out to this rule. When you boil down the opinion’s rhetoric, the holding of National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra is that abortion opponents enjoy the full force of a robust First Amendment, while abortion providers must accept a watered-down right to free speech.
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the majority opinion on behalf of his fellow Republicans. All four of the Court’s Democratic appointees dissented.
A law targeting deceptive anti-abortion clinics had a brutal day in the Supreme Court
NIFLA involves a California law targeting “Crisis Pregnancy Centers,” anti-abortion groups that often try to actively deceive pregnant individuals in order to prevent them from having an abortion. As the state legislature explained when it enacted the law at the heart of NIFLA, “CPCs ‘pose as full-service women’s health clinics, but aim to discourage and prevent women from seeking abortions’ in order to fulfill their goal of ‘interfer[ing] with women’s ability to be fully informed and exercise their reproductive rights.’”