[Ed. – The First Amendment survives another liberal attempt to quash it.]
When former New York State attorney general Eric Schneiderman initiated a lawsuit against a group of pro-life protesters last year, he may have thought it would be easy to shut down their vigil at a clinic in Jamaica, Queens. The attorney general’s office set up a camera outside the site, sent in decoys who could serve as bait for those looking to harass or intimidate women seeking abortions, and hid microphones on the women’s escorts.
But the evidence from a year’s worth of surveillance wasn’t enough to convince a federal court that the state had a case. Judge Carol Bagley Amon of the Eastern District of New York ruled on Friday that the 13 defendants Schneiderman (who resigned in disgrace in May after allegations surfaced of him physically abusing women) singled out didn’t have “the intent to harass, annoy, or alarm” patients entering the Choices Women’s Medical Center. The judge therefore turned down the government’s demand that a buffer zone be created that would make it difficult for protesters to speak or hand out pamphlets to those entering the facility.