Thankfully, Supreme Court shows it knows First Amendment meaning

We Americans, who demonstrate regularly that many of us do not understand the First Amendment, ought to be happy the U.S. Supreme Court does.

For example, the high court has ruled more than once that freedom of speech works both ways.

That is, it allows us to speak our minds — but it also means the government cannot compel us to say something with which we disagree.

Yet a three states demand just that. California, Hawaii and Illinois have statutes requiring that clinics established to help women avoid having abortions must provide patients with information on how to have their pregnancies terminated.

In other words, people who believe firmly that abortion is wrong are being told they must, in effect, inform women it is an option.

A lawsuit against the Golden State’s requirement has reached the Supreme Court, where justices heard oral arguments Tuesday. Even liberal Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor expressed skepticism about the California law.

Good. It is patently unconstitutional. It is one thing to require an abortion clinic, where serious medical procedures are being performed, to inform patients of risks and alternatives. It is quite another to mandate that people earnestly seeking to protect unborn babies should be ordered to imply aborting them is acceptable.


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