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Westboro case poses dilemma for Jewish groups
JTA: The Global News Source for Jewish People ^ | 6 October 2010 | Ron Kampeas

Posted on 10/06/2010 2:35:19 PM PDT by Vigilanteman

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Jewish defense organizations long -- and proudly -- have upheld a delicate principle in defending the First Amendment: Hate the speech, defend the speaker.

But a Supreme Court case whose arguments were scheduled for Wednesday have put that precept to the test: A Maryland family is suing the Westboro Baptist Church for picketing the funeral of its scion, Matthew Snyder, a soldier killed in a noncombat accident in Iraq.

Jewish organizations that routinely have defended free speech that others might find abusive are sitting this one out. The American Jewish Committee has not filed a brief; the Anti-Defamation League filed a brief arguing that the case has no merit.

The case pits the Snyder family’s right to privacy and protection from defamation against the rights of Westboro church, which is well known for its message that America’s woes derive from its tolerance for homosexuality. The tiny Kansas-based church also has a long record of anti-Semitic activity and regularly pickets Jewish institutions throughout the United States.

“Free speech encompasses hate speech,” said Marc Stern, the associate legal counsel at the American Jewish Committee, “but this church is off the wall. They're not just saying things, they're shoving it down people's throats.”

(Excerpt) Read more at jta.org ...


TOPICS: Extended News
KEYWORDS: aclu; adl; phelps; westboro
Fred Phelps freak show is on the road again, this time posing a dilemma to the ACLU which defends the slugs.
1 posted on 10/06/2010 2:35:20 PM PDT by Vigilanteman
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To: Vigilanteman
Westboro. Inbred scum lawyers. Let these families grieve please.
2 posted on 10/06/2010 3:21:06 PM PDT by allmost
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To: Vigilanteman

Where does free speech end and harassment begin?

ACLU—what a joke. Do they care about the psychic
injury to this family and other mourners?


3 posted on 10/06/2010 3:56:00 PM PDT by Calpublican
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To: Vigilanteman

This nutty group is why you have the Patriot Guard Riders, who protect the families of those military dead to grieve in peace.


4 posted on 10/06/2010 3:59:22 PM PDT by Biggirl (GO UCONN FOOTBALL!!!!!!!!!!! :)=^..^=)
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To: Vigilanteman

I have heard radio news on this case and now the Fox panel on this hearing today and no one seems to be able to talk about what this case is about. It has nothing to do with the first ammendment or free speech. Congress nor any arm of government is seeking to stop anyone from saying anything.

This is a case about tort law. The question is does the speech in question constitute a tort. The jury found that the family was injured by the speech. But of course there can only be an injury and liability if the speech constituted a tort. Certainly as we know speech can be a tort ala slander.

It will be interesting to see how the court holds and who votes what way. I would not be surprised to see 7+ votes either way.


5 posted on 10/06/2010 4:33:23 PM PDT by JLS (Democrats: People who won't even let you enjoy an unseasonably warm winter day.)
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Jewish groups have no dog in this fight. Best they express no opinion at all. Dead Jewish GIs are as rare as hen's teeth. American Jews cannot identify with the pain of the small town Christians who are the parents of the overwhelming majority of America's soldiers,sailors, airmen, and marines.
6 posted on 10/06/2010 4:52:58 PM PDT by Godwin1
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To: Vigilanteman

We should “Glenn Beck” Westboro Baptist - see what it’s like to have thousands of people come and protest them - see how they like it ...


7 posted on 10/06/2010 4:56:58 PM PDT by SkyDancer ("Give Kids An Education, Take Them Out Of Government Schools" - and I'm still Molly Norris")
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To: Vigilanteman

We should “Glenn Beck” Westboro Baptist - see what it’s like to have thousands of people come and protest them - see how they like it ... as for the ACLU defending? The ACLU defended an anti-Jewish march through Skoki, Illinois. A heavily Jewish neighborhood where lots of Holocaust survivors lived. Free speech as I read it was for the people to be able to redress their grievances to the government without fear of jail or reprisals. Look how far out of context the SCOTUS has taken it ...


8 posted on 10/06/2010 5:00:38 PM PDT by SkyDancer ("Give Kids An Education, Take Them Out Of Government Schools" - and I'm still Molly Norris")
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To: JLS

I also heard a couple of reports on the radio, and reportedly at least one justice had an issue with the fact that the plaintiffs may not have heard “the words” until after the funeral was over.

It will be an interesting decision.


9 posted on 10/06/2010 5:33:42 PM PDT by Canedawg (Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools that have not wit enough to be honest.)
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To: Vigilanteman
The Westboro group is despicable...but their right to protest is, IMO, protected by the First Amendment. I am curious about where the Westboro Baptist Church gets their financing? And...does whatever national Baptist organization the Westboro Baptist Church belongs to approve of their actions? Maybe Baptists should protest Westboro.

There must be a way to bring down Westboro Baptist Church without trashing the Constitution.

10 posted on 10/06/2010 6:59:33 PM PDT by goldfinch
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To: Calpublican

“Where does free speech end and harassment begin?”

Said Muhammad Al Fatah as people protested near his mosque.


11 posted on 10/06/2010 7:00:55 PM PDT by mainsail that ('Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes')
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To: goldfinch

They sue people and cities when they get bashed I read. A racket, basically.

But this lawsuit is a joke, the father read about the protest AFTER the funeral, and never saw them.


12 posted on 10/06/2010 7:04:36 PM PDT by mainsail that ('Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes')
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
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13 posted on 10/07/2010 5:47:57 AM PDT by SJackson (In wine there is wisdom, In beer there is freedom, In water there is bacteria.)
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To: Vigilanteman

“they’re shoving it down people’s throats.”

I find it ironic they would use this metaphor when describing a free speech issue because there would not be an issue if they literally shoved things down people’s throats as that is assault.

I find it odd that liberals went after the guy who didn’t burn the Koran by making him pay for security. Why don’t they do this to Phelps? Maybe because liberals really like Phelps. He’s their favorite strawman.


14 posted on 10/07/2010 5:53:14 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: Vigilanteman

I’m all for free speech, but a funeral is not a public event.


15 posted on 10/07/2010 9:26:57 AM PDT by rmlew (You want change? Vote for the most conservative electable in your state or district.)
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To: SkyDancer

Been done before.

Also, the article misrepresents what happened. WBC personalized their protest by putting Snyder’s face on one of their signs.

The JADL should know better. I am ashamed of them.


16 posted on 10/07/2010 9:57:25 AM PDT by sauropod (The truth shall make you free but first it will make you miserable.)
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To: mainsail that

A “victory mosque” is not “free speech.”


17 posted on 10/07/2010 9:59:22 AM PDT by sauropod (The truth shall make you free but first it will make you miserable.)
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To: mainsail that
But this lawsuit is a joke, the father read about the protest AFTER the funeral, and never saw them.

Not true.

I heard an interview with the father. He said that WBC camped out very near the front entrance of the church so the family had to be brought in to the church through a service entrance. On the way in, he saw the tops of the signs.

Also, he had been warned the day before (the day of the viewing) about WBC.

I'd like to see you function so well if you had to deal with this during your son's funeral.

18 posted on 10/07/2010 10:02:20 AM PDT by sauropod (The truth shall make you free but first it will make you miserable.)
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To: Vigilanteman

I consider rock salt buckshot a part of my free speech and an appropriate response to these idiots.


19 posted on 10/07/2010 2:49:11 PM PDT by nolongerademocrat ("Before you ask G-d for something, first thank G-d for what you already have." B'rachot 30b)
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To: Godwin1
another of those hard truths that pop up

makes folks squirm

i do wonder what Westboro has done to Jews

my wife and I talked about this at lunch

i confess...harassing folks bearing the trauma of burying what to them is their little boy could have gotten you killed down in Mississippi where I come from

you would do so at your own risk...I wouldn't shed a tear if someone sent this parson on to an early face to face with his creator

I don't like homoagenda either but these folks are cretins who deserve far worse than they will likely get

20 posted on 10/07/2010 3:00:06 PM PDT by wardaddy (the redress over anything minority is a cancer in our country...stage 4)
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To: mainsail that

Really?!?!? Was MAF burying his son?


21 posted on 10/15/2010 9:49:38 AM PDT by Calpublican
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To: mainsail that

Really?!?!? Was MAF burying his son?


22 posted on 10/15/2010 9:49:59 AM PDT by Calpublican
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