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Legal Scholars Ask SCOTUS to Protect Free Speech, Minority Viewpoints

First Liberty files amicus brief in NIFLA v. Becerra on behalf of constitutional experts

January 19, 2018

Washington, D.C.—Attorneys with First Liberty Institute filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme court this week on behalf of 23 law professors and legal scholars in the pending case of NIFLA v. Becerra. According to the brief, the professors fear a California law that “targets disfavored speakers for compelled speech” and forces pro-life clinics, including clinics operating from a religious viewpoint, “to provide information about state-subsidized abortion.”

“The First Amendment prevents a state from conscripting the speech of its citizens,” said Ken Klukowski, Senior Counsel and Director of Strategic Affairs, says. “Under this law, California stamps out dissent and refuses to tolerate any point of view but its own. This is the very reason the First Amendment exists: to protect citizens from being compelled to say something they morally object to saying.”

According to the brief, under California’s FACT Act, “no covered licensed clinic in California may decline to suggest abortion to often-desperate pregnant women (except, of course, those clinics that the State expects will do so anyway and accordingly exempts).” Because California “excuses those who support abortion but compels those who oppose abortion,” FACT discriminates in violation of the First Amendment

Among the 23 law professors and legal scholars represented on the brief are Helen Alvare, Gerard Bradley, Richard Duncan, Richard Epstein, Thomas Farr, Stephen Presser, O. Carter Snead, and others.

To read or download the brief, click here.


About First Liberty Institute

First Liberty Institute is a non-profit public interest law firm and the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans. 

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