Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

This Day in Liberal Judicial Activism—August 27

(Wikimedia Commons)

2014—In Bible Believers v. Wayne County, a divided panel of the Sixth Circuit confers “a clear heckler’s veto,” as dissenting judge Eric L. Clay puts it—or is it a thug’s veto?—on an angry crowd at the 2012 Arab International Festival. The panel majority rules that the “threat of violence” at the festival on the streets of Dearborn, Michigan “had grown too great to permit [a group of Christian evangelists] to continue proselytizing.”

Three months later, the Sixth Circuit will grant en banc review of the ruling. In October 2015, the en banc Sixth Circuit, in a majority opinion by Judge Clay, will hold that county police violated the constitutional rights of the Christian evangelists when they barred them from continuing to proselytize.

2019—In a divided ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Adams, a Seventh Circuit panel, in a majority opinion written by Judge David F. Hamilton, deems unconstitutional a provision of Indiana law that requires that parents be given prior notice of their minor daughter’s planned abortion unless a judge determines that such notice is not in her best interests.


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