Judge Posner and Anti-Abortion Protestors

Gerard Magliocca

Gerard N. Magliocca is the Samuel R. Rosen Professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Professor Magliocca is the author of three books and over twenty articles on constitutional law and intellectual property. He received his undergraduate degree from Stanford, his law degree from Yale, and joined the faculty after two years as an attorney at Covington and Burling and one year as a law clerk for Judge Guido Calabresi on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Professor Magliocca has received the Best New Professor Award and the Black Cane (Most Outstanding Professor) from the student body, and in 2008 held the Fulbright-Dow Distinguished Research Chair of the Roosevelt Study Center in Middelburg, The Netherlands. He was elected to the American Law Institute (ALI) in 2013.

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5 Responses

  1. Joe says:

    People on sidewalks might be “nuts” in various cases, but many people try to convince people that way, including the proverbial soapbox. Many of these at the time (and now) were/are seen as nuts. But, that is neither here or there. He is better focusing on the typical person here, who even there, aren’t “nuts” in various cases as compared to to be blunt jerks.

    The real life situation of them also harassing and obstructing is true enough in various cases but he went too far in his comments. But, I guess, who is really surprised given his tendencies to run his mouth a bit too far? See, e.g., his ongoing feud with Scalia, whose ire at certain people wasn’t just found in an (unlinked) commentary piece. See, e.g., his separate opinion in WATCHTOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOC. OF N. Y., INC. v. VILLAGE OF STRATTON about certain “crackpots.

  2. Joe says:

    Here’s the article:


    Note he is something of an equal opportunity um critic here. The remarks included that he had found “hard to take the dissents seriously” in the town meeting invocations case, tossing in calling a Wiccan a “witch.”

    I found the remarks about Roberts’ “wit” overblown. But, this sort of rhetoric by a federal judge is to my mind beyond the pale.

  3. NSW Lawyers says:

    There are many comments in that case.

  4. Eric Rasmusen says:

    Political protesters rarely change anyone’s mind, I would guess. It does happen occasionally that abortion protesters change the mind of a woman about to have an abortion, and that is one reason the protests have continued an astonishing 40 years (has any other cause prompted demonstrations once a week for even 5 years in a row). Many of the women coming for abortions will not have talked with anyone giving them a practical alternative to abortion, or who cares about the doubts they have as to whether what they are doing is right. That’s one reason many of them are bothered by the protesters; Judge Posner is saying that these women should be protected from ever having to hear anyone who questions whether their decision is correct.
    I personally know one 12-year-old boy who was born only because his mother talked to abortion protesters and was persuaded to put him up for adoption.

  5. paul smith says:

    Protesters are unpredictable and intimidating, once you gave them a right over a particular matter, they will use it and at the same time abuse it. I am hoping that this law will not aggravate the situation.