Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Balkinization blog: Abortion, the First Amendment, and the Fourth Circuit's "Kangaroo Court", by Jennifer Keighley:
Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) do not provide or refer for abortion or birth control services. Baltimore passed a law requiring such centers to post a sign stating that they do not provide or refer for these services. Pretty straightforward stuff, especially given the evidence that women visiting the centers often erroneously believe that they do provide such services. Last week, however, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court’s permanent injunction of Baltimore’s law, holding that Baltimore’s law violates the centers’ First Amendment rights. This case raises novel and complex questions about the First Amendment, and in particular, about the definition of commercial speech: if the court had held that the disclosure applied to commercial speech, it almost certainly would have withstood review. . . .