Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules Against Planned Parenthood

(RightWing.org) – Few issues bring strong feelings to the forefront of political discord in America than the First Amendment right to free speech and abortion, so when the two topics recently collided in a courtroom, one might have expected a huge explosion. However, four Liberals and three Conservatives came to a unanimous decision and, as evidenced by your reading this, the Earth did not turn into an expanding ball of gas and flame.

Cheeseheads United

In 2020, a Trempealeau (Wisconsin) County judge granted a protective order to Nancy Kindschy who works as a nurse practitioner at two local Planned Parenthood abortion clinics which directed Christian abortion protester Brian Aish to stay away from her home “or any other premises temporarily occupied by her.” The Court of Appeals upheld the ruling of the lower court, however, the seven justices of the Wisconsin Supreme Court vacated the decision and remanded it back to the trial court.

Aish was a regular figure that two different clinics where Kindschy worked. He would display signs and engage people with passages from the Christian Bible, several of which describe God’s judgment that looms over people who commit murder — including that of unborn children. On several occasions, he directed comments to her letting her know what her eternal fate would be if she did not repent with a warning that if she were to be killed by a drunk driver on the way home it would be too late.

Kindschy testified that she felt threatened by Aish’s words because they dealt with her death and the effects that her work could have on her family. She claimed that the messages were delivered to her in a manner that she labeled with terms like “angry,” “aggressive,” and “stern;” even though the video of one of the encounters that SHE submitted into evidence put the lie to her allegations.

Wisconsin’s high court, in a unanimous decision, found Aish’s comments were protected under the First Amendment and could be restricted only if they were “true threats [as defined by the Supreme Court of the United States/SCOTUS]” or if the injunction was to further a compelling state interest and the original order failed on both counts. However, a recent decision by the four Liberal justices on a new abortion case has shattered that unity.

The majority has chosen to become the court of original jurisdiction for a Planned Parenthood case which has asked them to declare that the ability to obtain an abortion is an absolute right under the state’s constitution. In their joint dissent, the three Conservative justices decried it as an attempt to usurp “political power constitutionally vested in the legislature alone.” They also pointed to the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org. decision by SCOTUS saying that the judiciary does not have any business meddling in “abortion policy and ‘return[ed] that authority to the people and their elected representatives.'”

Looks like there’s more judicial wrangling ahead regarding abortion in Wisconsin.

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