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U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Abortion Protester's Challenge Of Maine Law Limiting Noise

Maine Public/file
Anti-abortion and abortion rights activists face off outside Portland's Planned Parenthood facility in January of 2013.

The United States Supreme Court has upheld a Maine law that limits noise generated by protestors outside medical facilities.

The case arose when a pastor challenged the state law's noise limit that was used to restrict his anti-abortion protest outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Portland.

The justices offered no comment Monday in rejecting the appeal from the Rev. Andrew March. He sued after he said Portland police officers repeatedly told him to lower his voice while he was protesting outside the clinic. 
Maine Attorney General Janet Mills says the court properly declined to hear March's appeal and let a lower court finding stand.

“You can’t be yelling in such a loud and unreasonable way that it really interferes with the communications between a patient and medical provider,” Mills says.

She says the 1995 law balances the rights of protestors outside abortion clinics with those using the medical facilities. The law was at first found unconstitutional by the District Court, but was later found to be constitutional by the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

This story was originally published April 16, 2018 at 1:26 p.m. ET.

Journalist Mal Leary spearheads Maine Public's news coverage of politics and government and is based at the State House.