buffer zone

City board of aldermen step closer to buffer zone bill

Two Missouri lawmakers have filed legislation that would pre-empt local governments from enacting laws restricting a person's First Amendment rights.

Rep. Holly Rehder (R-Sikeston) has filed HB 2589, which says that "no city, town or village shall pass or enforce any law, ordinance or resolution that restricts a person from exercising a right enumerated in Amendment 1 of the Constitution of the United States while such a person is on a public sidewalk, street, avenue, alley, or other public place unless state law authorizes such a restriction."

City Board of Aldermen one step closer to passing buffer zone bill

After a hotly contested debate, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen moved forward on a bill that would create a buffer zone around health care facilities, including Planned Parenthood.

The full board on Feb. 23 voted 15-13 to perfect Board Bill 34, which would create a fixed, eight-foot buffer zone around a health care facility's driveway entrance, or within a public right-of-way or sidewalk. The bill also says that no one may "knowingly enter, remain on, or create an obstruction" in those areas.

The board is expected to have a final vote on March 2.

'Buffer zones' at abortion clinics are unconstitutional, Supreme Court rules

WASHINGTON — In a June 26 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that 35-foot buffer zones around abortion clinics — meant to keep demonstrators away — violates First Amendment rights.

The decision, a victory for pro-life groups, reversed an appellate court decision upholding a 2007 Massachusetts law that made it a crime for anyone other than clinic workers to stand within the yellow semicircular lines painted 35 feet from entrances of Planned Parenthood clinics in Boston, Springfield and Worcester.

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