Religous Freedom Group Files Brief In Maine Noise Dispute

Dec 12, 2017

The group, Alliance Defending Freedom, has filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that state noise restrictions under the Maine Civil Rights Act should not be used against Lewiston Pastor Andrew March. 

March was prohibited from shouting anti-abortion remarks in front of Portland's Planned Parenthood center two years ago by Portland police, who said he was disrupting activities inside.

Kevin Theriot, senior counsel with the ADF, argues that Maine's noise law is unconstitutional, in part because it would not apply to a pro-choice speaker outside of a Planned Parenthood building.

"It makes no sense for the government to say that only noise with a particular viewpoint is a problem," Theriot said. "Maine's law is unconstitutional on its face."

Last year, a Maine federal judge agreed that the state's noise ordinance was unconstitutional because it was based on the content of what a protester might say. 

That decision was overturned by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, setting the stage for potential review of the case by the U.S. Supreme Court.