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US Supreme Court to weigh in on buffer zone case in ‘Cradle of Liberty’

High court will consider constitutionality of Mass. law that censors free speech of pro-life advocates
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to review the constitutionality of a Massachusetts law that creates a 35-foot “buffer zone” restricting pro-life advocates from speaking with people entering abortion facilities.

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed the lawsuit McCullen v. Coakley in 2008 with then lead counsel and allied attorney Michael De Primo. De Primo is currently litigating the case together with two other allied attorneys, Philip Moran and Mark Rienzi. Rienzi, professor of constitutional law at Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law, is now lead counsel alongside attorneys with the Washington, D.C. firm Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale & Dorr, LLP.

“The government should not be allowed to create censorship zones where the First Amendment doesn’t apply in order to silence a particular viewpoint,” said DePrimo. “This buffer zone was designed to censor constitutionally protected speech. We are confident the Supreme Court will strike down the law that created the zone so that our clients and other peaceful pro-life citizens can once again freely share their message.”

On Nov. 13, 2007, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signed into law S.B. 1353, which created the buffer zone.

  • Pronunciation guide: De Primo (dih-PREE’-moh)


Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.


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