Brief Fact Summary. The state has a regulation that prohibits picketing within 100 feet of a healthcare facility entrance.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Time, place, and manner restriction of speech is justified when it is content-neutral and places minor restriction in a broad category of communications.
The Court construed the ban to be a limited one; only focused picketing taking place solely in front of a particular residence is prohibited.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Is the statute a constitutional regulation of the speaker for protection of the “listener”?
Held. Yes. The state has a legitimate interest in protecting citizens from unwanted confrontations.
Justice Scalia: The majority agrees with the regulation because it limits pro-life speech. It is content-based and needs to be analyzed under strict scrutiny.
Justice Kennedy: This is a content-based restriction subject to strict scrutiny. It specifically limits speech in front of healthcare facilities.
Discussion. This regulation places a restriction on the place of speech and not the speech. It applies equally to all persons regardless of the message. The state interest in protecting access and privacy are unrelated to the content of the speech. This places a minor restriction on the place of speech in regards to an unwilling listener.