free speech

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn a Massachusetts law meant to keep protesters 35 feet away from abortion clinics is drawing local reaction.

Rhode Island ACLU head Steve Brown says he thinks the court struck the right balance in this ruling, a balance between the right to free speech and the right to have an abortion. He says the court appropriately noted that clinics have other ways of dealing with protestors who cross a line.


Brown University is creating a committee to review how a talk by New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly was canceled last week after a noisy protest. Kelly’s critics object to his department’s controversial stop and frisk policy.

Kelly was repeatedly interrupted by students and outside activists when he tried speaking during an October 29 appearance at Brown. The university responded by cancelling the talk and clearing the room where the event was taking place.