Young Turks host Cenk Uygur denounced the Supreme Court on Thursday for striking down laws providing “buffer zones” around reproductive health clinics while upholding harsher barriers against political demonstrators.
“You want [free] speech when it comes to powerful people? No, no, no, get in the f*cking cage,” Uygur said. “Get in the go*damn cage. We don’t give a damn about your First Amendment rights. You want to harass a woman trying to exercise her rights — her constitutional rights, by the way — have at it, hoss.”
The high court ruled unanimously that a 2007 Massachusetts law allowing patients at the clinics seeking abortions to have free access unlawfully denied protesters their right to engage in what the court described as “personal, caring, consensual conversations with women about various alternatives.”
Uygur argued that the law was created after state legislators heard from clinic workers about encounters they had witnessed between their clients and anti-abortion protesters, including one confrontation in which a patient’s grandfather was shoved, insulted and told he walked with a cane because he was being punished by God.
By comparison, Uygur said, the court currently enjoys a much bigger buffer zone instituted by its marshal last year. And “free speech zones” set up for protesters at major political conventions have often been placed far enough away from the event sites so as to render demonstrators out of sight.
“Can you tell I’m a little mad about this?” Uygur asked. “Go*dammit, man, I’m in favor of free speech — of course, that’s the most fundamental right that we argue for every day on this show. But at a bare minimum, you have to be fair about it. You have to be equal about it, okay?”
Watch Uygur’s commentary, as posted online on Thursday, below.