(March 3) A legal brief filed by Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson helps illustrate how leftists have an objectively disordered view of “protests.”

It’s a view in which rioters looting local stores, torching cars, and assaulting security guards are seen as “ mostly peaceful protests ,” while nuns and old ladies praying outside abortion clinics are seen as frightening and dangerous . The brief Jackson co-wrote against the latter has proved an early rallying point for conservatives against her nomination.

To be clear, Jackson has an admirable history of personally eschewing the more dramatic forms of protest . Yet she has described that reluctance as a judgment of practicality and efficacy, not as a determination that vociferous protest somehow violates the rights of others.

Except, that is, when the protesters are opposing abortion. In the case of McGuire v. Reilly, Jackson was a lead attorney for a NARAL state chapter and a consortium of other self-styled women’s and reproductive health groups filing a friend-of-the-court brief in favor of a Massachusetts state law. The law prohibited anti-abortion protesters, but not pro-abortion counselors, from coming within six feet of someone near an abortion clinic “for the purpose of passing a leaflet or handbill to … or engaging in oral protest, education, or counseling” — presumably to dissuade that person from securing an abortion.

Set aside for now the constitutional merits and demerits of the law or of the lawsuit against it. Likewise, set aside what, if anything, Jackson’s involvement says about her overall fitness for the Supreme Court. Instead, what’s more broadly instructive is how her legal brief exemplifies the skewed view most leftists have about protests. For them, the antifa and Black Lives Matter street violence are noble, and the “hecklers’ veto” against on-campus speakers is a favorite and honored tool of “canceling” unwanted opinions…. [The full column is here.]


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