Rachel Maddow said Thursday night that the Supreme Court of all places should understand the need for buffer zones around abortion clinics.
The MSNBC host was reacting to the court's unanimous decision to strike down a Massachusetts law that created 35-foot buffer zones around abortion clinics to protect people entering and leaving from protesters. Though the court previously upheld an 8-foot buffer zone in Colorado, justices said that putting 35 feet between protesters and abortion clinics violated demonstrators' First Amendment rights.
Maddow criticized the ruling on Thursday. She ran through the long history of violence that has occurred outside of abortion clinics.
The tensions outside of abortion clinics are not unlike those outside of courtrooms, Maddow said, and the Supreme Court has a "grand marble public plaza" as its buffer zone to protect the justices and anyone going in and out of the building.
"[No] matter how strong your feelings are about something going on, or being debated or decided at the Supreme Court, you can't protest on that plaza," she said. "You can't hang around on that plaza. Must be nice for the people who work there, right?"
"You can safely get in and out of your workplace without either the intimidation fears or the safety fears or just the hassle or stress," she continued. "For the people responsible for keeping the justices themselves safe, it must be a great relief to them to have that buffer zone outside that courtroom."
Maddow said that the Supreme Court has upheld buffer zones outside of polling places on election day and outside of military funerals. She also pointed out that Massachusetts tried a version of Colorado's buffer zone around individuals, but found it too hard to enforce and enacted a 35-foot stationary buffer zone.
But that law is no more, she lamented.
"From inside their own protective buffer zone, the Supreme Court issued its majority ruling striking down the one around abortion clinics," Maddow said.