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ADF-allied attorney available to media following hearing in Mass. ‘buffer zone’ case

Hearing concerns challenge to constitutionality of law that restricts free speech of pro-life advocates
Published On: 10/18/2017
WHO:  ADF-allied attorney Michael DePrimo
WHAT:  Available for media interviews after hearing in McCullen v. Coakley
WHEN:  Tuesday, May 5, immediately following hearing, which begins at 9:30 a.m. EDT
WHERE:  U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit, John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse, 1 Courthouse Way, Boston


BOSTON — ADF-allied attorney Michael DePrimo will be available for media interviews immediately following oral argument Tuesday before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit in McCullen v. Coakley.  DePrimo will be arguing on behalf of several pro-life advocates against a Massachusetts law that creates a 35-foot “buffer zone” restricting pro-life advocates from talking with people entering abortion clinics.

“Pro-life advocates shouldn’t be penalized for expressing their beliefs,” said DePrimo.  “The government cannot single them out for punishment simply because they want to share their message with people entering the clinic.  The government simply cannot create censorship zones where the First Amendment does not apply in order to silence a particular viewpoint.”

“We hope that the court will strike down this law so that our clients and other peaceful pro-life citizens can once again freely express their message with those contemplating abortion,” De Primo added.  “This buffer zone was designed to take away their rights and censor speech guaranteed by the First Amendment.”

On Nov. 13, 2007, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signed into law S.B. 1353, which created the buffer zone.  On Jan. 21, 2008, DePrimo and ADF attorneys filed suit in federal court to challenge the constitutionality of the law.  The court upheld the law last August, prompting the pro-life advocates to appeal to the 1st Circuit.

ADF-allied attorney Phillip Moran of the Law and Liberty Institute is serving as co-counsel on the case.

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith.  Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.