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Supreme Court Rules Against Buffer Zone for Abortion Clinics

Big SCOTUS decisions released

Abortion remains an issue that divides the Supreme Court, but the justices had less disagreement Thursday in defending the free speech rights of abortion opponents. The court ruled unanimously that Massachusetts went too far — literally — when it created 35-foot buffer zones around abortion clinics to keep demonstrators away from patients.

The decision united Chief Justice John Roberts and the court's four liberals, who said the distance improperly removed demonstrators from public sidewalks and spaces. The other conservative justices would have issued a more sweeping verdict, striking down the ban on grounds that it targets abortion opponents' specific point of view.

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