Today’s 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court in NIFLA v. Becerra is a tremendous victory for life and free speech.
It decision reverses a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit – concluding that the challengers are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that the California Reproductive FACT Act violates the First Amendment.
This is a significant victory for pro-life pregnancy centers and the decision represents a tremendous victory for the First Amendment. This decision brings an end to the troubling abortion distortion factor. The Court clearly understood that First Amendment free speech rights cannot be applied differently – one set of rules for those protecting the right-to-life, and another for those promoting abortion.
Under the California law, licensed pregnancy centers were required to post notices about abortion services. It also required unlicensed centers to inform clients that they are not medical facilities.
In today’s decision, the Court sent the case back to the lower court for further consideration.
The ACLJ has been very involved in defending the rights of pro-life pregnancy centers. It filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in this case. The ACLJ also filed suit on behalf of three crisis pregnancy centers – LivingWell Medical Clinic, Pregnancy Care Center of the North Coast, and Confidence Pregnancy Center – challenging the California law. The ACLJ also filed a Petition For Writ of Certiorari – asking the high Court to take our case.
Read more of our analysis of this major Supreme Court decision for life and our related case here.
Today, we won another major victory at the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court just granted our certiorari petition in LivingWell (our case defending pro-life pregnancy centers), vacated the decision of the Ninth Circuit, and sent our case back to the court of appeals “for further consideration in light of National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, 585 U. S. ____ (2018).”
While we were certain the Court would take today’s action, in light of Tuesday’s NIFLA decision, it is very welcome news indeed. It is a total and complete vindication of our efforts to protect the First Amendment free speech rights of our clients – three pregnancy care centers: LivingWell Medical Clinic, Pregnancy Care Center of the North Coast, and Confidence Pregnancy Center.
Our case will now ultimately go back to the district court for a final ruling on California’s patently unconstitutional law.
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