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Law professor joins First Amendment scholars in amicus brief

William & Mary Law School Professor Timothy Zick has joined an amicus curiae brief with several other leading First Amendment scholars in McCullen v. Coakley, a case pending before the Supreme Court.

The case involves a Massachusetts law that restricts all expressive activity within 35 feet of entrances, exits and driveways of all reproductive health care facilities, including abortion clinics.

Timothy ZickZick says that the case "offers the Supreme Court an important opportunity to limit the 'zoning' of freedom of speech, and to confirm that officials cannot selectively exclude speech in public places."

There are two questions before the Supreme Court in the case. The first is whether the First Circuit erred in upholding Massachusetts' selective exclusion law under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The second is whether Hill v. Colorado (2000) permits enforcement of the Massachusetts law and thus should be limited or overruled. Zick and fellow amici assert that the Court erroneously applied the First Amendment in Hill v. Colorado and that the First Circuit wrongly applied Hill in order to uphold the Massachusetts law.

Zick has written on a wide variety of constitutional issues, with a special focus on issues of free speech. His commentary has appeared in various news media including, for example, The Atlantic, BBC News, the Christian Science Monitor, Forbes, Stars and Stripes, U.S. News and World Report and the Wall Street Journal.

His first book, Speech Out of Doors: Preserving First Amendment Liberties in Public Places (Cambridge University Press), examined how the regulation of place impacts public protest and other free speech rights in various locales, including near abortion clinics.  His forthcoming book, The Cosmopolitan First Amendment: Protecting Transborder Expressive and Religious Liberties (Cambridge University Press), examines the relationship between the First Amendment and international borders.