It seemed as though Chief Justice John Roberts played a pivotal role in gaining support of the more liberal justices. Roberts focused on the historical significance of public debates. The streets have a special place in the heart of American politics. Given that significance, the Court noted their limited power in regulating the content of speech on streets and sidewalks. In a sense, the "buffer zone" is only limiting speech on abortion because breaking the law does not have barring on what you say, but where you say it. Although the law does not apply to clinic employees, the Court made clear that is is simply to allow them to perform their duties. The exemption is not meant to discriminate the source of speech.
Although the outcome of the case was not very surprising, the support of the liberal justices was a little unexpected. This decision is interesting because of its timing. The Court has its hands full with similar questions including the challenge to the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate. However, I do not believe the Hobby Lobby decision will be as unanimous due to its diverse oral argument.