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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Westboro Baptist Church Wins

The Westboro Baptist Church believes that the United States is on the wrong road due to its acceptance of homosexuality.  It is also down on the Roman Catholic Church for the action of some Priests.  Overall, the members of the Westboro Baptist Church can develop and print some rather nasty signs and find some rather sensitive times to show them.  In one such case the grieving father of a US Marine Corps Lance Corporal, a Matthew Snyder, killed in Iraq in the line of duty, sued and was awarded millions in damages.  The ruling was reversed and then appealed to the US Supreme Court.
Held:  The First Amendment shields Westboro from tort liability for its picketing in this case.

ROBERTS, C. J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which SCALIA, KENNEDY, THOMAS, GINSBURG, BREYER, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ., joined. BREYER, J., filed a concurring opinion.  ALITO, J., filed a dissenting opinion.
Who says the Supremes can't get along.  And, the position was for free speech and the First Amendment.

Let us not kid ourselves.  The actions of the congregation of the Westboro Baptist Church are beneath contempt.  Supreme Court Justice Alito put it well in the opening part of his dissent.
Our profound national commitment to free and open debate is not a license for the vicious verbal assault that occurred in this case.

Petitioner Albert Snyder is not a public figure.  He is simply a parent whose son, Marine Lance Corporal Mat-thew Snyder, was killed in Iraq.  Mr. Snyder wanted what is surely the right of any parent who experiences such an incalculable loss:  to bury his son in peace.  But respondents, members of the Westboro Baptist Church, deprived him of that elementary right.  They first issued a press release and thus turned Matthew’s funeral into a tumultuous media event.  They then appeared at the church, approached as closely as they could without trespassing, and launched a malevolent verbal attack on Matthew and his family at a time of acute emotional vulnerability.  As a result, Albert Snyder suffered severe and lasting emotional injury. The Court now holds that the First Amendment protected respondents’ right to brutalize Mr. Snyder.
But, at the end of the day the eight were right.

Regards  —  Cliff

1 comment:

Danny Haszard said...

Harassment by religious extremist

Jehovah's Witnesses instigated court decisions in 1942 which involved cursing a police officer calling him a fascist and to get in your face at the door steps,....this same JW 1942 court decision upheld infamous Phelps hate church in 2011
Danny Haszard