District Judge Richard J. Arcara


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The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform Inc. (CBR), UB Students for Life (UBSFL), and their coplaintiffs protested abortions by exhibiting, on the campus of the State University of New York at Buffalo, photo-murals containing large images equating abortion with genocides. Under 42 USC §1983 plaintiffs claimed defendant university officials intentionally allowed counter-demonstrators to block the photo-murals from view, impairing their First Amendment free speech rights, due to hostility toward both the content and the anti-abortion viewpoint of the photo-mural exhibit. Reviewing a magistrate judge’s recommendations the court found only UBSFL satisfied the injury-in-fact requirement for Article III standing, and dismissed individual plaintiffs Cunningham, Hardwich, and Andzel for lack of standing. Further, CBR and UBSFL stated causes of action under 42 USC §1983 for violation of their rights to free speech and equal protection of the laws. Plaintiffs alleged loss of opportunities to express themselves in the way they preferred when the university defendants allowed counterdemonstrators to block the photo-murals—subject to First Amendment protection—from view was sufficient to allege that defendants took adverse actions against them.