We will NOT have Hobby Lobby today.
Nor will we have Harris v. Quinn.
The opinion appears to be mainly focused on the fact that the buffer zone includes public ways and sidewalks.
This almost certainly means that Justice Alito, who has not yet written a decision from January, will be writing in Harris.
We don't know yet when the next day is, but Lyle is listening to see what the Chief Justice says once the decisions have been announced. The Court is scheduled to sit on Monday, but there is always an outside chance that they could decide to sit tomorrow instead of or in addition to Monday. But we should have a much more definite answer very soon.
Also no word on whether anyone is reading a concurrence for this one.
Almost 20K on the LB right now.
Scalia says in his concurring opinion that Hill should be overruled, which suggests that it has not been.
The majority does not seem to cite Hill, other than in the statement.
The abortion protests ruling is relatively narrow. The Court makes clear that states can pass laws that specifically ensure access to clinics. It holds that states cannot more broadly prohibit speech on public streets and sidewalks. It also notably rejects the protesters' broadest arguments that such restrictions require strict constitutional scrutiny and are viewpoint based.
The Court has just announced that the last session will be at 10 am on Monday, at which time all remaining opinions will be issued.
Just to be clear: no more decisions today. We expect the Court to issue the two remaining decisions, in Hobby Lobby and Harris v. Quinn, on Monday at 10 am.
Also, to correct an earlier comment that I had made, the copies of the bench statement that some Justices opt to release are made available to the press only to help them to explain the decision. They are not public documents.
A state can go beyond narrow laws that block obstructions to clinics, and more broadly ban abortion protests, only if it builds a record showing that the narrower measures don't work.
The upshot of today's ruling is that an abortion clinic buffer zone is presumptively unconstitutional. Instead, a state has to more narrowly target clinic obstructions. For example, the police can tell protesters to move aside to let a woman through to the clinic. But it cannot prohibit protesters from being on the sidewalks in the first instance. If in practice protesters still are obstructing the entrance, then it can consider a broader restriction.
In McCullen, the Court seemingly leaves no room for a law requiring as a general matter buffer zones of any size around the clinics -- it lists all manner of alternatives, including court orders tailored to a specific clinic's problems, that will be a more narrowly tailored way of responding to the State's legitimate concerns.
The S. Ct. majority says nothing about its prior buffer zone ruling in Hill, the validity of which now seems in real question.
Yes, Monday will be both the next day and the final day. So we would expect Hobby Lobby and Harris v. Quinn then. We will have lots more coverage of today's decisions in McCullen and Noel Canning today, including an online symposium with reactions on Noel Canning.
Thanks so much for joining us, and thanks as always to our sponsors at Bloomberg Law. We will be back bright and early Monday morning for the last opinion day of the Term. Have a great weekend!