ACLU (California) on the Bill Restricting Speech Outside Vaccination Sites
Last week, I wrote about SB 742, which seems on track to become California law (having passed the Senate 33-4, and the Assembly Public Safety Committee 6-2). The law would make it a crime to, among other things,
knowingly approach within 30 feet of any person while a person is making the approach within 100 feet of the entrance of a vaccination site and is seeking to enter or exit a vaccination site, or any occupied motor vehicle seeking entry or exit, for the purpose of …
nonconsensual[ly] and knowing[ly] … passing a leaflet or handbill, 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 …
in connection with any vaccination services.
I opined that this would be clearly unconstitutional, for two reasons:
[1.] The First Amendment protects speech on public sidewalks, including offering leaflets, displaying signs, or conveying oral messages to people who haven’t “consen” (whether because they haven’t thought about the matter, or even if they affirmatively don’t want to see the sign or hear the message).
In Hill v. Colorado (2000), the Court did uphold a restriction on “‘knowingly approach[ing]’ within eight feet of another person [near a medical facility], without that person’s consent, ‘for the purpose of passing
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