47 Conn. L. Rev. 937 (2014-2015)
The Unavoidable Implication of McCullen v. Coakley: Protection against Unwelcome Speech is Not a Sufficient Justification for Restricting Speech in Traditional Public Fora

handle is hein.journals/conlr47 and id is 973 raw text is: 






                  CONNECTICUT

                  LAW REVIEW
VOLUME 47                 FEBRUARY 2015                NUMBER 3



                             Note

   THE UNAVOIDABLE IMPLICATION OF MCCULLEN V.
 COAKLEY: PROTECTION AGAINST UNWELCOME SPEECH
 Is NOT A SUFFICIENT JUSTIFICATION FOR RESTRICTING
          SPEECH N TRADITIONAL PUBLIC FORA


                       ZACHARY J. PHILLIPPS

    The First Amendment rights of speakers and the government's power
to restrict speech to protect unwilling listeners come together in the
Supreme Court's buffer-zone jurisprudence. Litigation brought by sidewalk
counselors to eliminate buffer zones around reproductive healthcare
facilities has reached the Supreme Court several times. Before Hill v.
Colorado, the Court was reluctant to hold that a state's interest in
protecting unwilling listeners from unwanted communication was a
sufficient justification for speech restrictions in traditional public fora. In
Hill, however, the Court upheld a floating-buffer-zone statute based
primarily on this interest. In McCullen v. Coakley, a recent challenge to a
Massachusetts buffer-zone statute, sidewalk counselors specifically asked
the Supreme Court to overrule or limit its decision in Hill. Although this
time the Court struck down the buffer zone, the majority did not discuss
Hill and the decision has left many wondering to what extent Hill remains
intact.
    This Note explains how the majority opinion in McCullen suggests that
a statute concerned with protecting unwilling listeners from unwanted
communication in traditional public fora is not content neutral. Therefore,
this Note argues that McCullen provides a basis for overruling Hill with
respect to the government's power to restrict speech to protect unwilling
listeners from unwanted communication in traditional public fora.

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