United States Supreme Court denies certiorari in March v. Mills matter - Attorney General Janet T. Mills announces victory for women and Planned Parenthood clinics in wake of today's Decision of the U.S. Supreme Court

April 16, 2018

AUGUSTA - Attorney General Janet Mills applauded the United States Supreme Court's decision today to let stand the ruling of the federal appeals court in March v. Mills in which the Office of the Attorney General successfully defended Maine's law protecting women seeking health care at clinics from loud and disturbing protests intended to interfere with the provision of health care. The Supreme Court this morning denied the petition for certiorari filed by the Thomas More Law Center.

In a major victory for women and for Planned Parenthood clinics, the First Circuit Court of Appeals, in an unanimous decision last August, concluded that Maine's law did not infringe on protesters' right of free speech, that the law was facially neutral, that the law reflected a significant state interest in protecting those seeking health care, and that protesters had less disruptive means of communicating their concerns in a legitimate fashion.

Attorney General Mills stated, No one should have to endure a gauntlet of taunting and harassment loud enough to be heard inside a clinic, in order to secure their right to health care, including reproductive care, in Maine or elsewhere. I am delighted that the court has upheld this amendment to Maine's Civil Rights Act presented by the Attorney General's Office in 1995 and carefully crafted to gain the support of both pro-choice and pro-life interests.

The law makes it a violation of the Civil Rights Act for any individual, having been warned by a law enforcement officer, to intentionally make noise that can be heard within a building and with the intent to interfere with the safe and effective delivery of health services within the building.

Attorney General Mills thanked Assistant Attorneys General Christopher Taub and Leanne Robbin for their successful advocacy in this groundbreaking case.