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No Buffer Zone For Abortion Clinics And Other Big Supreme Court Decisions

Cassie Paton |
June 26, 2014 | 6:36 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

The Supreme Court ruled the buffer zone law violates the First Amendment. (Twitter/@Wej12)
The Supreme Court ruled the buffer zone law violates the First Amendment. (Twitter/@Wej12)
In a ruling that many pro-choice advocates decried, the Supreme Court struck down a Massachusetts' law that allowed for 35-foot buffer zones around abortion clinics, claiming it was unconstitutional. The law was put in place to help shield clinic patients from abortion protesters who in the past have been notorious for severe harassment and violence.

The Supreme Court said the law violated the First Amendment, which protects protesting. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. noted that there are still laws in place that forbid "obstructing access" to medical clinics, and that protesters may not harass people within 15 feet of an abortion clinic, according to the L.A. Times.

With the end of the high court's term just days away, the Justices have made some other pretty big decisions lately. Here are the highlights:

1. Police must obtain warrants to search cell phones
Now, if you're arrested, it doesn't automatically mean you've lost this right to privacy.

2. Limits on the EPA's ability to regulate facilities that emit greenhouse gases
The limits are minimal, but prevent the EPA from having "too much" authority. 

3. Obama's recess appointments are unconstitutional
The Senate wasn't technically in recess when Obama made three appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. Now, they have more power to stop future recess appointments.

And still to come:

On Monday, the Supreme Court will rule on whether private employers are required to provide prescription contraceptives coverage to employees. This is going to be a big one.

Reach Executive Producer Cassie Paton here. Follow her on Twitter here.



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