Skip to comments.Westboro case poses dilemma for Jewish groups
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 familys right to privacy and protection from defamation against the rights of Westboro church, which is well known for its message that Americas 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 ...
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?
This nutty group is why you have the Patriot Guard Riders, who protect the families of those military dead to grieve in peace.
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.
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 ...
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 ...
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.
There must be a way to bring down Westboro Baptist Church without trashing the Constitution.
“Where does free speech end and harassment begin?”
Said Muhammad Al Fatah as people protested near his mosque.
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.
If youd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
“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.
I’m all for free speech, but a funeral is not a public event.
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.
A “victory mosque” is not “free speech.”
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.
I consider rock salt buckshot a part of my free speech and an appropriate response to these idiots.
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