Victory for Pro-Life Protesters | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

ACLJ Profile Completion


Victory for Pro-Life Protesters

By David French1340217028000

ACLJ received notice today from the New York City Law Department that it would withdraw summonses wrongfully issued by the NYPD to three residents of Brooklyn, New York for peacefully holding up pro-life signs on a public sidewalk near a public high school. All three protesters were holding pro-life signs designed to educate the public about the harsh realities of abortion when they were confronted by police.

The officers handcuffed all three individuals, drove them to the precinct where they were held for approximately one hour, and cited each for violation of New York Penal Code 240.35(5), which prohibits loitering “in or about school grounds.”

Convinced that pro-life protest was not “loitering,” the protesters contacted the ACLJ. We immediately wrote New York’s Law Department and demanded that the charges be dismissed, and the protesters be permitted to continue their peaceful free speech activities on the public sidewalks in front of New York schools without further interference. In our letter, we reminded the department that the Supreme Court has made clear “that the public sidewalk adjacent to school grounds may not be declared off limits for expressive activity by members of the public.” Grayned v. City of Rockford, 408 U.S. 104, 118 (1972). Once more “speech on ‘matters of public concern’ . . . is ‘at the heart of the First Amendment’s protection.’” Dun & Bradstreet, Inc. v. Greenmoss Builders, Inc., 472 U.S. 749, 758-759, 105 S. Ct. 2939, 86 L. Ed. 2d 593 (1985) (opinion of Powell, J.) (quoting First Nat. Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, 435 U.S. 765, 776, 98 S. Ct. 1407, 55 L. Ed. 2d 707 (1978)). Accordingly, “speech on public issues occupies the highest rung of the hierarchy of First Amendment values, and is entitled to special protection.” Connick v. Myers, 461 U.S. 138, 145, 103 S. Ct. 1684, 75 L. Ed. 2d 708 (1983) (internal quotation marks omitted).

Without question the protesters speech is protected under the First Amendment, but this is not the first time NYPD has wrongfully used the anti-loitering statute to silence protest. NYPD’s continued classification of such speech as loitering is troubling, and ACLJ will continue to respectfully and vigilantly protect the right of citizens to educate our nation about the tragic reality of abortion.

Latest in
Pro Life

Ghastly Discovery in the Home of Deceased Abortionist

By Matthew Clark1568994327554

It should shock the conscience of everyone in America. It’s one of the most horrific stories in generations, and it’s hardly being covered by the mainstream media. It could be the plot of a chilling horror movie, but it’s 100% true. An Indiana abortionist (and resident of Illinois) was secretly...

read more

New Zealand Seeks to Allow Barbaric Late Term Abortions

By Olivia Summers1568756807773

Under the guise of “modernising,” New Zealand is considering adopting a proposed Abortion Legislation Bill . Abortion in New Zealand is currently allowed only in limited situations where the mother’s life or health is in danger, in cases of serious fetal abnormalities, or if the pregnancy is a...

read more

JSL: Bernie Sanders Says Abortions Will Help Environment

By Jay Sekulow1567718018229

Just when you think you’ve heard it all, you say to yourself, could that have actually been said? It’s really sick when you think about it. Today on the show we discussed Sen. Bernie Sanders saying that if we increase abortions we’re going to save the planet. Think about that for a moment. He...

read more

ACLJ Seeks Court Review in Sidewalk Counselors Case

By Geoffrey Surtees1567692603715

Sidewalk counselors share the good news of the sanctity of human life where that message needs to be heard the most: right outside the doors of abortion facilities. These counselors, who suffer the insults of clinic “escorts” and all types of weather, are unspoken heroes of the pro-life movement.

read more