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High court rules for military funeral protesters (Westboro Nuts Win 8-1!?)
AP ^ | 03/02/2011 | n/a

Posted on 03/02/2011 7:27:39 AM PST by Pyro7480

Edited on 03/02/2011 7:31:23 AM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]

The Supreme Court has ruled that the First Amendment protects fundamentalist church members who mount attention-getting, anti-gay protests outside military funerals.


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TOPICS: Breaking News; Constitution/Conservatism; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: alito; scotus; supremecourt; ussupremecourt; westboro
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Alito was the lone dissenter, according to CNN.
1 posted on 03/02/2011 7:27:44 AM PST by Pyro7480
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To: Pyro7480

Unbelievable. I fear their decision on ObamaCare. OTOH, we are free to do the same at funerals for Liberals...


2 posted on 03/02/2011 7:31:45 AM PST by pabianice
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Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: Pyro7480

So long as these evil anti-American, anti-Christian thugs are on public property, I agree with the Supremes. The WBB thugs have the same constitutional rights as the rest of us. [My solution: use private property rights to restrict them from disturbing decent people to the maximum extent possible, otherwise tolerate them just like we tolerate those who still cheer for Obama. ]


4 posted on 03/02/2011 7:32:23 AM PST by Pollster1 (Natural born citizen of the USA, with the birth certificate to prove it)
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To: Pyro7480
The decision upheld an appeals court ruling that threw out a $5 million judgment to the father of a dead Marine who sued church members after they picketed his son's funeral.

The father will now be liable for the "legal costs" incurred by the WBC in these court actions.

......sad day.

5 posted on 03/02/2011 7:32:54 AM PST by Roccus (POLITICIAN...............a four letter word spelled with ten letters.)
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To: pabianice
OTOH, we are free to do the same at funerals for Liberals...

Not sure I would try it unless you wanted to spend a few days in the slammer. The rules are probably different.

6 posted on 03/02/2011 7:33:39 AM PST by SLB (23rd Artillery Group, Republic of South Vietnam, Aug 1970 - Aug 1971.)
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To: Pyro7480
God Bless Alito for his vote, however, the decision was correct.

We all (atleast I hope we all know) that the Westboro nuts are democrats trying to make Christians look bad. Someone just needs to post the picture of the head of the cult with Algore.

But this goes to the whole slippery slope. If we stop protest (unless fire in a theater) then we are going to lose more rights. Then they will try to shut down FR because of "hate speech", then the tea party, ect.......

So as much as I hate and despise these democrat cultists, the Supreme Court got it right.

7 posted on 03/02/2011 7:34:47 AM PST by Dengar01 (Go Blackhawks!!! Go Bulls!!!)
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To: Pollster1
So long as these evil anti-American, anti-Christian thugs are on public property, I agree with the Supremes.

Couldn't have said it better myself. The Constitution is what it is.

8 posted on 03/02/2011 7:35:36 AM PST by South Hawthorne (In Memory of my Dear Friend Henry Lee II)
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To: Pyro7480

The vote was 8-1. We don’t always like the rulings but this comes down to freedom of speech. It really couldn’t have gone another way.


9 posted on 03/02/2011 7:35:46 AM PST by ExtremeUnction
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To: Pollster1

I hate to say it, but I agree with you that the USSC got this one right. As long as WBB members are on public land, they have the same rights as the rest of us. I may not like what they say, but I have to agree that they have the right to say it.

That being said, the personal property idea sounds like the best way to go here. I know most people will want to resort to force to stop this bunch, but you can’t fight stupid with stupid. They’ll just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience. The better way would be to maneuver them into a position where they can do as little harm as possible and then support the families who are grieving.


10 posted on 03/02/2011 7:38:04 AM PST by paladin1_dcs
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To: Pollster1
I really liked the way it was handled in Tucson, AZ. Hundreds of anti-Westboro demonstrators stood between the Westboro crowd and the funeral. I am a Born Again, Bible believing, right wing conservative, and I am disgusted at what the Westboro crowd is doing.
11 posted on 03/02/2011 7:38:09 AM PST by wbarmy (I chose to be a sheepdog once I saw what happens to the sheep.)
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To: Pyro7480

Well, they do have the right to do that but what has kept people from doing that in the past is decency, respect and the fear of of a butt whooping by family and friends of the dead something the Westboro bunch don’t seem to have...

When ya think about it, that is only thing that prevents most folks from indiscriminately breaking any of societies taboos.


12 posted on 03/02/2011 7:38:13 AM PST by WorkerbeeCitizen (They do not wish to govern us, they wish to RULE us!)
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To: Pyro7480

Those protesters will now be even more hated. They may think they have full license now, but I bet the numbers that protest them will grow even more.

I think I understand the SC’s decision, but what if someone yells “Fire!” in a public place?


13 posted on 03/02/2011 7:39:40 AM PST by Exit148
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To: Pollster1

Yes, that is what Freedom and 1st Amendment rights is all about....we know the lefties on this court would vote not because of 1st Amendment rights, they voted because of who and what this group is doing and has done...you can bet if it’d been a conservative right wing group those lefties would have voted differently.


14 posted on 03/02/2011 7:40:49 AM PST by shield (A wise man's heart is at his RIGHT hand;but a fool's heart at his LEFT. Ecc 10:2)
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To: pabianice
“OTOH, we are free to do the same at funerals for Liberals...”

Free to do it and doing it are two different thing. I would have absolutely zero respect for anyone that would picket the funeral of anyone. Funerals are not for the dead they are for the living.
That said, I would be in favor of getting in the face of that Westboro Baptist bunch. And I mean getting really in their faces.

15 posted on 03/02/2011 7:42:54 AM PST by Tupelo (The Boudicca from Wasilla supporter)
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To: SLB

Even if the rules were the same for everyone, I still wouldn’t think it right to turn this back on them. We’re Conservatives, this is a Liberal tactic, it may seem like this would be a good way of fighting fire with fire, but the truth is that they would just ratchet up a “gotcha” game and make us out to be the villians.

There are better ways of fighting this bunch, but using their own tactics against them isn’t the way to do it.


16 posted on 03/02/2011 7:43:29 AM PST by paladin1_dcs
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To: Pyro7480

Hold a funeral that Westboro is going to protest, move it to private property. The arrest the fools for trespassing when they get well inside of the proerty line.


17 posted on 03/02/2011 7:45:43 AM PST by GraceG
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To: shield
..you can bet if it’d been a conservative right wing group those lefties would have voted differently.

Well, now the Supreme Court has set precedence with this case...let's see what happens if it does come up - that will be interesting.

18 posted on 03/02/2011 7:46:31 AM PST by libertarian27 (Ingsoc: Department of Life, Department of Liberty, Department of Happiness)
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To: Pyro7480

while i do not agree with what they were doing I do agree with the ruling.

I would have been very concerned for our future had it had another outcome.

If the court had ruled against them then the left would have used this to attack free speech that they consider anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-leftist.


19 posted on 03/02/2011 7:48:53 AM PST by stockpirate (U-6 Total unemployed for January 2011 16.1 percent)
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To: Pyro7480

BTW- they aren’t “fundimentalist church members” the are radical left wing socialists.


20 posted on 03/02/2011 7:50:24 AM PST by stockpirate (U-6 Total unemployed for January 2011 16.1 percent)
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To: libertarian27
Well, now the Supreme Court has set precedence with this case...let's see what happens if it does come up - that will be interesting.

Absolutely! One thing that is very true of the US legal system is that they are extremely lazy and instead of making decisions they rely on past decisions.

The Court ruled so in my opinion the tea party protests, pro life rallys, ect.. ALL are protected right now because of this decision.

And every conservative legal team can site this decision if a lib tries to sue us.

21 posted on 03/02/2011 7:51:15 AM PST by Dengar01 (Go Blackhawks!!! Go Bulls!!!)
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To: Roccus
The father will now be liable for the "legal costs" incurred by the WBC in these court actions.

In the American system of jurisprudence, "legal costs" are generally nominal -- a couple hundred dollars to a couple thousand dollars depending upon the court system.

22 posted on 03/02/2011 7:52:54 AM PST by Labyrinthos
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To: WorkerbeeCitizen
they do have the right to do that but what has kept people from doing that in the past is decency, respect and the fear

I agree. Just because an action is legal doesn't mean there are no societal consequences to those actions.

23 posted on 03/02/2011 7:53:05 AM PST by glennaro
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To: Pyro7480

this does not bother me that much - there are other ways of dealing with these people.


24 posted on 03/02/2011 7:54:11 AM PST by Jukeman
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To: Pyro7480

The WBC isn’t a church, it’s a moneymaking scam of the worst kind, which makes them even more despicable.

http://kanewj.com/wbc/


25 posted on 03/02/2011 7:57:08 AM PST by jz638
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To: Roccus
The father will now be liable for the "legal costs" incurred by the WBC in these court actions.

I think that's the point. I've read elsewhere that this "church" is really a gigantic scam. They deliberately do the most outrageous thing possible to provoke people into attacking them and then they sue. Or they provoke municipalities into denying them rights and then sue them. I've heard they've made a tidy sum through out of court settlements. This is all about money, not some twisted principle.

26 posted on 03/02/2011 7:59:20 AM PST by jalisco555 ("My 80% friend is not my 20% enemy" - Ronald Reagan)
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To: Labyrinthos
I wasn't talking about just "court" costs, but attorney's fees as well. This poor man is about to be hit with a HUGE bill!
27 posted on 03/02/2011 7:59:24 AM PST by Roccus (POLITICIAN...............a four letter word spelled with ten letters.)
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To: Pyro7480

It’s the right decision - BUT...
there’s is nothing that says you can’t have a municipal ordinanace that protects people from this sort of thing.
Case in point: the “cone” around abortion clinics for protesters...
local ordinances could “cone” funerals...and keep these a**holes away.


28 posted on 03/02/2011 7:59:26 AM PST by matginzac
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To: Pollster1
So long as these evil anti-American, anti-Christian thugs are on public property, I agree with the Supremes.

A silver lining to this cloud -- They just defeated political correctness!!!!

Political correctness was designed to stop people from speaking out against any left wing special interest group. Citizens were terrorized by the threat of hate speech litigation.

The court is saying there's no such thing as hate speech. We can speak out against any left wing special interest group at any time and in any way.
People have been led to believe otherwise. The court just reminded Americans they DO have a choice and a right to their opinions free from left wing retribution.

29 posted on 03/02/2011 7:59:33 AM PST by concerned about politics ("Get thee behind me, Liberal")
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To: Jukeman
"this does not bother me that much - there are other ways of dealing with these people."

Sooner or later this will lead some anguished family member to take private justice against the Westboro demonstrators and that will be another tragedy for the family that was already in mourning.

30 posted on 03/02/2011 8:00:03 AM PST by Truth29
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To: Pyro7480

Ok, so a piece of paper protects them. About as much as a piece of paper protects a woman from her ex-husband/boyfriend/stalker. Some parent or relative might take exception one day to them. Just saying.


31 posted on 03/02/2011 8:00:10 AM PST by ReverendJames (Only A Painter Or A Liberal Can Change Black To White.)
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To: pabianice

I just wonder if this means that these evil scums can show up right in front of a funeral home and protest, or do they still have to keep a distance of several hundred feet?


32 posted on 03/02/2011 8:01:51 AM PST by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: jalisco555

Exactly!!!

This is a law firm, NOT a church.


33 posted on 03/02/2011 8:01:51 AM PST by Roccus (POLITICIAN...............a four letter word spelled with ten letters.)
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To: Pyro7480

I hate the WBB, but the silver lining is that this is a good precedent that will be valuable down the road.


34 posted on 03/02/2011 8:02:54 AM PST by Free Vulcan (Vote Republican! You can vote Democrat when you're dead.)
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To: Pyro7480

Of course a few large family members of the deceased might make these nuts very unhappy that they showed up!


35 posted on 03/02/2011 8:03:47 AM PST by Oldpuppymax
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To: Dengar01
One thing that is very true of the US legal system is that they are extremely lazy and instead of making decisions they rely on past decisions.

There's one thing to be said for laziness, or methodically cautious.

I wish the rest of government worked in the same manner.

The Constitution is the Supreme form of Precedence yet most agencies go wild in writing their own laws of the land.

There is so much that should be squashed as unconstitutional yet how many hours are there in the day for the Supreme Court to decide?

Unfortunately Westboro Church got their 'Pursuit of Happiness' but if they didn't, it would be even more unfortunate for the country as a whole.

36 posted on 03/02/2011 8:04:03 AM PST by libertarian27 (Ingsoc: Department of Life, Department of Liberty, Department of Happiness)
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To: Free Vulcan
but the silver lining is that this is a good precedent that will be valuable down the road.

Yep. There's no such thing as hate speech. Political correctness is now dead.

37 posted on 03/02/2011 8:04:44 AM PST by concerned about politics ("Get thee behind me, Liberal")
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To: Pyro7480

http://awesomescreenshot.com/02685esab
Screenshot of Greetings from Anonymous.


38 posted on 03/02/2011 8:08:38 AM PST by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: jalisco555

You are correct. The daughter is their ambulance chaser. It’s a set-up. The best thing to do is ignore them.


39 posted on 03/02/2011 8:10:10 AM PST by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: massgopguy
You are correct. The daughter is their ambulance chaser. It’s a set-up. The best thing to do is ignore them.

This "church" is just a family business, and a lucrative one at that. Ignore them and they'll go away eventually.

40 posted on 03/02/2011 8:15:02 AM PST by jalisco555 ("My 80% friend is not my 20% enemy" - Ronald Reagan)
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To: Exit148

“what if someone yells “Fire!” in a public place?”

When is yelling “fire” in a crowded theater protected speech?

Answer:

A)...when it’s in the script.

B)...when there IS a fire.


41 posted on 03/02/2011 8:15:04 AM PST by Crim (The Obama Doctrine : A doctrine based on complete ignorance,applied with extreme incompetence..)
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To: Pyro7480

There is nothng in the Contitution the allows government to impair free speech under the First Amendment simply because the speech makes people feel uncomfortable. I have read the SCOTUS decision and I concur.


42 posted on 03/02/2011 8:17:17 AM PST by Labyrinthos
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To: Pyro7480

No other decision they could have made if we want to keep freedom of speech.


43 posted on 03/02/2011 8:18:26 AM PST by chessplayer
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To: Pyro7480; All
Flame away if you want, but I don't agree with this even a little bit.

All that you folks and the Supremes are doing is giving these thugish nuts the absolute right to do absolutely ANYTHING to call the attention of the sycophantic media to their cause.

What's next? They'll be able to picket the funerals of child victims of pedophile sexual abuse to get even more attention or even more heinous tactics?

You people and the Supremes are just blowing the lid off of this kind of thing. What about when they show up at rape trials and claim that women get raped because it's God's judgment and will because America supports gay's, like they protest at these military funerals?

That's only two quick examples off the top of my head. These WBB nuts are ALL trained lawyers. Like the Clintons, they didn't train in law, they trained in the WEAKNESSES in the law and if it can occur to me, it'll occur to them in time too.

Hey, public property, remember? I'll probably get taken down because, hey, it's free speech, right? Who cares about people's feelings or emotions? Long as they get to spew their hatred, you folks are ok with that, huh?

This is a MAJOR can of worms.

44 posted on 03/02/2011 8:23:22 AM PST by HeartlandOfAmerica (Insane, Corrupt Democrats or Stupid, Spinless Republicans - Pick America's poison.)
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To: Pyro7480

Peaceful assembly is one thing, but disturbing the peace is another. Why haven’t the sissified cops arrested these punks when they get loud and distruptive?


45 posted on 03/02/2011 8:25:38 AM PST by CodeToad (Islam needs to be banned in the US and treated as a criminal enterprise.)
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To: HeartlandOfAmerica

The only way to fight them is to ignore them. They are in this to provoke reactions which form the basis of lawsuits. So, sure, maybe rape trials are next. They want people to attack them, or municipalities to ban them, so they can sue. They’re only in it for the money. Once people just ignore them the money will dry up and they will go away. No need to endanger other people’s right to protest.


46 posted on 03/02/2011 8:28:00 AM PST by jalisco555 ("My 80% friend is not my 20% enemy" - Ronald Reagan)
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To: HeartlandOfAmerica
The true test of whether you believe in the 1st Amendment comes when you are subjected to speech you find highly offensive. If you're OK banning speech you find highly offensive, then you have to be OK banning pastors discussing the evils of homosexuality or other so-called "hate speech."

The 1st Amendment allows all kinds of offensive speech. Either deal with it, or just admit that you have no problem banning free speech as long as it's speech you don't like.
47 posted on 03/02/2011 8:28:29 AM PST by TexasAg
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To: HeartlandOfAmerica
This is a MAJOR can of worms.

I believe all the things you cite as possible consequences of this decision are already being done anyway. No, the can of worms would be opened if the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment doesn't apply to speech you or I or 100 other people or 10 million other people don't like. Because that would mean the same thing could be done to the Second Amendment.
48 posted on 03/02/2011 8:28:48 AM PST by drjimmy
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To: TexasAg

From the CNN article:

Only Justice Samuel Alito dissented. He said the church’s “outrageous conduct caused petitioner great injury, and the court now compounds that injury by depriving petitioner of a judgment that acknowledges the wrong he suffered,” he said. “In order to have a society in which public issues can be openly and vigorously debated, it is not necessary to allow the brutalization of innocent victims like petitioner.”


49 posted on 03/02/2011 8:29:44 AM PST by Hawk720
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To: ExtremeUnction; All
The vote was 8-1. We don’t always like the rulings but this comes down to freedom of speech. It really couldn’t have gone another way.

You're right. The only way they could have decided against WBB was by holding "offensiveness" to be a basis for denying 1st Amendment rights. That would have opened the gates wide for attacks on FR, the Tea Parties, etc. and de facto repealed the 1st Amendment. We're fortunate the leftists on the Court didn't vote with Alito.

50 posted on 03/02/2011 8:30:18 AM PST by libstripper (uite eff)
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