In August 2009, the District Court for the Northern District of California upheld an Oakland, California city ordinance that creates a “bubble” zone” around reproductive health care facilities against a constitutional challenge by an anti-abortion protestor. The protestor, Walter Hoye, had been arrested for violating the ordinance, he challenged the Oakland law principally on the basis that the law violates his First Amendment rights, and also on grounds that the law is unconstitutionally vague and violates Equal Protection.
With legal representation by the Life Legal Defense Foundation, Hoye appealed the district court’s decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. At the request of counsel for the City of Oakland, the Center submitted an friend-of-the-court brief to the Ninth Circuit calling on the Court to uphold the district court’s ruling that the Oakland ordinance does not violate the First Amendment. The Center’s brief was signed by a number of national organizations, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the National Abortion Federation (NAF), Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health (PRCH), and the American Women’s Medical Association.
The case is now pending. Oral argument was held on October 8, 2010.