BOSTON (NEWS CENTER) — The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday overturned a U.S. District Court ruling that favored anti-abortion protesters.
A pastor from Lewiston who opposes abortion brought the case before a federal judge in May 2016, hoping to push for the enforcement of a provision within the Maine Civil Rights Act. His objective: to question a law intended to protect people who use the health care services of Planned Parenthood in Portland.
Judge Nancy Torresen sided with the pastor on May 24, 2016, ruling that a state law restricting excessive noise was unconstitutional. The District Court concluded that the measure restricted speech based on its content rather than on the time, place or manner of its expression, and was not likely to survive strict constitutional scrutiny.
In Circuit Judge David Barron's decision, he wrote that the pastor "misapprehends the nature of a facial challenge to the extent that his argument relies on allegations about how the statute has been applied (or, perhaps, how it has been misapplied) in certain specific instances," adding the court, "see[s] no basis for accepting the only contention that [the pastor] makes for concluding that the measure does not permit ample alternative channels of communication."
On behalf of the court, Barron concludes, "[the pastor] has not shown that he has a likelihood of success on the merits of his facial constitutional challenge to the noise prevention."
↓ Read the full ruling below ↓