Speed Reads

SCOTUS watch

SCOTUS rules against California anti-abortion clinic law on First Amendment grounds

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Tuesday to reverse a law in California that required anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers to provide information about abortions, The Associated Press reports. NPR characterized the decision as "[pitting] the right to know against the right of free speech," with Justice Clarence Thomas writing for the majority that the California law "targets speakers, not speech, and imposes an unduly burdensome disclosure requirement that will chill their protected speech."

The law additionally had required unlicensed clinics to post signs or otherwise inform clients that they are not licensed medical facilities, and to provide information about the state providing low-cost or free access to prenatal and reproductive care such as abortions, if such services are not offered at the clinic in question.

The dissent was along ideological lines, with Justice Stephen Breyer arguing for the liberal half of the court that the California law should be upheld since the court had previously ruled in favor of state laws requiring doctors to inform women seeking abortions about the option of adoption.