On Saturday, the U.S. Eastern District Court for the Eastern District of California determined that SB 742 (recently signed into law) unlawfully discriminates against Right to Life of Central California's peaceful outreach to women – thus granting the pro-life group's request for a temporary restraining order to halt enforcement of discriminatory parts of the law against any speaker while the lawsuit moves forward.
"The government can't pick and choose which speech to allow," says attorney Kevin Theriot of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the law firm representing Right to Life of Central California. "That's really the bottom line."
SB 742 creates a "no speech zone" within about a 100-foot radius of any place that provides a vaccination. Planned Parenthood does some vaccinations; and based on that, people from Right to Life – which is located next to a Planned Parenthood that administers the HPV vaccine – weren't allowed to peacefully offer charitable services to women in need on the public sidewalk and street outside its own building and even in its own parking lot.
The ADF attorney explains that the law does have an exception for labor speech.
"The court was very clear that California can't allow others to speak freely in the zone only if they're picketing as part of a labor demonstration," says Theriot. "The court said the exemption for labor was a discrimination based on content, which California can't do."
Governor Gavin Newsom (D-California) signed SB 742 into law just three weeks before Saturday's ruling.