Mark Rienzi, Director of the Center for Religious Liberty and Professor of Law at Catholic Law, and President of The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, was recently interviewed by the New York Times. His comments reflect on the First Amendment and state regulations on speech in the post-Roe era.
New York Times
Date: June 29, 2022
By: Jeremy W. Peters
First Amendment Confrontation May Loom in Post-Roe Fight: Without a federal right to abortion, questions about how states can regulate speech about it suddenly become much murkier.
Mark L. Rienzi, a law professor at the Catholic University of America, posed a hypothetical that he said could test how courts might apply the First Amendment in a post-Roe world: What if New York State bought billboards in Texas offering to help women there make the journey north for a legal abortion?
Mr. Rienzi, who argued before the Supreme Court on behalf of Eleanor McCullen, who offered counseling and support to women outside clinics in hopes of persuading them not to get an abortion, said he thought Texas would be on shaky legal ground if it tried to prosecute anyone in New York for the billboard.
“The underlying thing is it’s not a crime where it’s happening,” he said.
But Mr. Rienzi added that the new legal landscape was uncharted, leaving very little certain about what laws states are now free to pass. “I think in some ways we don’t really know because the political process has essentially been jammed for 50 years,” he added.
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