CALIFORNIA (LifeSiteNews) Attorneys from a pro-life nonprofit have filed a federal lawsuit to stop a new California law that prohibits protests and sharing information outside of any place that offers vaccines, including abortion centers.
The legislation makes it illegal “for a person to knowingly approach a person or an occupied vehicle at a vaccination site, as specified, for the purpose of obstructing, injuring, harassing, intimidating, or interfering with, as defined, that person or vehicle occupant.”
Vaccination sites includes “the physical location where vaccination services are provided, including, but not limited to, a hospital, physician’s office, clinic, or any retail space or pop-up location made available for large-scale vaccination services.”
“Using the threat of COVID as an excuse,” LLDF wrote, “the Legislature enacted a breathtaking restriction on speech that will ban core First Amendment activity in numerous locations across California.”
Its lawsuit details how the Supreme Court has ruled against similar attempts to establish broad “buffer zones” around abortion facilities. Because Planned Parenthood does offer some vaccines, it would be included under this law.
“The Statute prohibits approaching within 30 feet of any person, while that person is within 100 feet of the entrance or exit” of a place of vaccination, the lawsuit says.
Restrictions on speech must be “content-neutral” Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts told Massachusetts in 2014, ruling on the Constitutionality of a 2007 state law that created a 35-foot buffer zone outside of abortion facilities.
The California law exempts “lawful picketing arising out of a labor dispute” from the penalties imposed under the legislation, which include “a fine not exceeding $1,000, imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding 6 months.”
While the law has prohibitions against actual violence, it also prohibits harassment, defined as “passing a leaflet or handbill to, displaying a sign to, or engaging in oral protest, education, or counseling with, that other person in a public way or on a sidewalk area.”
The lawsuit also says that the state failed to establish a “compelling government interest” in promoting vaccines. But even if California did establish it, the state has not established that this law does it in the least restrictive way.
“The Statute bans approaches of any person seeking entry for any reason to any location where any vaccine is provided,” the lawsuit says. “Creating speech-free zones around every drug store, stand-alone health clinic, and supermarket in the state in order to re-assure the occasional customer seeking a vaccine of some kind is hardly a narrowly drawn restriction on speech.”
“On the contrary, it is unconstitutionally overinclusive and overbroad,” Life Legal’s attorneys said.
“Plaintiffs are likely to prevail on the merits of their claims that the Statute is an unconstitutional restriction on speech in a public forum,” the injunction request says, “because it is not narrowly tailored and does not leave open ample alterative channels of communication.”
“Creating no-approach zones around every abortion facility, drug store, stand-alone health clinic, and supermarket in the state is unconstitutionally over-inclusive and overbroad,” LLDF Chief Officer Katie Short said in a statement. “In an age of unprecedented incursions on freedom, this law is an unheard-of restriction on core First Amendment activities, and we are confident that the federal court will strike down SB 742.”
PETITION UPDATE (9/27/21) -
United has agreed to put off its threatened COVID vaccine mandate for another 2 weeks, as proceedings came to a screeching halt in federal court last Friday.
Mark Paoletta, a partner at Schaerr Jaffe representing the plaintiffs, was quoted by Breitbart as saying:
"Now everyone can follow the court’s decision to take the time and care needed to carefully consider the legitimate claims our clients have as we seek a solution that allows United to take necessary steps to combat COVID-19 while respecting the civil rights of valuable employees who have sincere religious objections or medical conditions that make them unable to take the vaccine."
While this appears to be a lessening of tensions and possibly a step in the right direction, we must wait till the case resumes on October 15 to see if United will scrap their draconian mandate.
In the meantime, we must continue to apply pressure on United.
So, please continue to SIGN and SHARE this pledge to boycott the airline giant for threatening to impose harsh measures - including forced unpaid leave - in order to coerce employees with religious or medical objections to the vaccine to take the jab.
Thank you for continuing to SIGN and SHARE!
United Airlines is accused of not respecting the religious and medical COVID vaccine exemptions which the company offered to employees who cannot, in good conscience or health, take the vaccine.
2,000 employees of the industry giant are represented in two court cases which have been initiated to stop United from laying-off or indefinitely furloughing workers who have sought COVID vaccine exemptions.
Please SIGN this BOYCOTT of United and send the airline a stong message that you will not support the implementation of these draconian measures.
Many United Airlines employees have sincerely held religious objections to taking the COVID vaccines, while other employees have been told by their doctors not to take the vaccine due to health concerns.
The religious and medical rights of these employees must be respected, and, will hopefully be vindicated by the courts.
But, airlines are for-profit businesses, and apart from the legal incentives, there must also be financial incentives for them to respect their employees' religious and medical rights, and, indeed, the same rights of all Americans.
And, that's why we are calling for a boycott.
The CEO of United Airlines, Scott Kirby, and HR Manager, Kate Gebo, need to understand that the American public will not support businesses who force their employees or customers to violate their religious beliefs or their doctors' recommendations.
Of course, this is totally unnecessary.
United could simply make reasonable accommodations for their employees who are claiming either a religious or medical exemption.
But, until United adopts that policy, we are asking you to consider boycotting the "unfriendly skies" and find another airline for your travel needs. By doing so, you will meaningfully stand shoulder-to-shoulder with these aggrieved United employees.
Thank you for SIGNING and SHARING this petition to boycott United Airlines over the company's failure to respect religious and medical COVID vaccine exemptions for its employees.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
'Pilots seek restraining order against United Airlines’ ‘unlawful, life-threatening, vaccine-mandate’' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pilots-seek-restraining-order-against-united-airlines-unlawful-life-threatening-vaccine-mandate/
'United Airlines will put employees with religious, medical COVID vaccine exemptions on unpaid leave' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/739949/
**Photo Credit: EQRoy / Shutterstock.com
The law went into effect on Friday because its sponsors declared it an “emergency” law.
But Democratic State Senator Richard Pan first introduced the legislation in February, apparently prompted by a protest outside of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ baseball stadium on January 30.
Protesters “temporarily shut down Saturday because dozen of protesters blocked the entrance [to a vaccination site],” the Associated Press reported.
Officials running the site shut it down at 2 pm and opened it up “shortly before 3 p.m.”
“There were no incidents of violence,” the AP reported.
“Health care workers administering vaccines and saving lives need local officials to have SB742 to keep them and their patients safe from extremists who obstruct and threaten people with violence and loss of privacy for participating in COVID-19 vaccination clinics,” Senator Pan said in a statement on October 9.