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Hill v. Colorado (docket #: 98-1856) (2000)  [Findlaw]

Secondary Link Hill v. Colorado  [Legal Information Institute]
Argument Date 01/19/2000
Decided 06/28/2000
Supreme Court Vote 6-3
Supreme Court Ruling First Amendment claim denied.
IssueA Colorado statue establishes a 100-foot zone around the entrance to any "health care facility." Within this buffer zone, people may not, without consent "knowingly approach another person within 8 feet," for the purpose of passing out literature or engaging in "oral protest, education, or counseling" on a public sidewalk. The question is whether the First and Fourteenth Amendment rights of the speaker are abridged by the protection the statute provides for the unwilling listener.
Case Summary & Additional Resources
Majority Opinion Stevens, J. (joined by Rehnquist J., O’Connor, J., Souter, J., Ginsburg, J., Breyer, J.)
Concurring Opinion Souter, J. (joined by O’Connor, Ginsburg, J., and Breyer, J.)
Dissenting Opinion Scalia, J. (joined by Thomas, J.) & Kennedy, J.
Lower Court Colorado Supreme Court
Lower Court Ruling First Amendment claim denied.
Oral Arguments Oral Arguments  [Oyez]
For Petitioner
Jay Sekulow

For Respondent
Colorado Solicitor General Michael E. McLachlan argued the case on behalf of the state of Colorado.

For United States
Deputy Solicitor General Barbara D. Underwood argued the case on behalf of the United States.

Briefs (Petititioner, Respondent & Amicus Briefs) [FindLaw]

News Stories & Commentary
AP, "Anti-abortion groups agree to drop lawsuit over protest rules" (6-2-04)

Tony Mauro Analysis
Supreme Court appears leery of Colorado's buffer-zone law

Supreme Court gives itself another chance to clarify abortion-protest limits

Opinion - Lower Court
Hill v. Thomas, 973 P.2d 1246 (Colo., 1999)
"Free Speech or Interference? Abortion Case is Argued," New York Times, January 20, 2000, sect. A, p. 14
"Supreme Court upholds abortion protest limits," June 28, 2000.

O'Connor, Karen, "Abortion Protests, Abortion Rights, and the Regulation of Speech," in Gregg Ivers & Kevin McGuire, editors, CREATING CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE: CLASHES OVER POWER & LIBERTY IN THE SUPREME COURT (2004), pp. 195-214

Charles C. Haynes, "Court censors anti-abortion protest for sake of traffic flow" (8/8/04)

David Hudson, Overview: Abortion Protests and Buffer Zones

Jamin V. Raskin & Clark L. LeBlanc, Disfavored Speech about Favored Rights: Hill v. Colorado, the Vanishing Public Forum and the Need for an Objective Speech Discrimination Test, 51 Am. U. L. Rev. 179 (2002)

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