Skip to comments.US Court Rules For Military Funeral Protesters - Westboro 8 , America 1
Posted on 03/02/2011 8:32:21 AM PST by InvisibleChurch
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the free speech provisions of the U.S. Constitution protect fundamentalist church members who mount anti-gay protests outside military funerals, despite the pain they cause grieving families.
The court voted 8-1 in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church. 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.
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion for the court. Justice Samuel Alito dissented.
(Excerpt) Read more at theindychannel.com ...
The church is very wrong, but the decision is legally correct
Were I a prosecutor, I would sorta make it known that I considered the protests to be conduct that would provoke a reasonable person to commit a battery on the protestors....
I’m with you.
You don’t think that the picketing infringes on another’s rights?
It’s a very correct decision. Who was the dissent? Scalia?
Never mind. Alito.
The fighting words doctrine, in United States constitutional law, is a limitation to freedom of speech as protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. In its 9-0 decision, Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire (1942), the U.S. Supreme Court established the doctrine and held that “insulting or ‘fighting words,’ those that by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace” are among the “well-defined and narrowly limited classes of speech [that] the prevention and punishment of...have never been thought to raise any constitutional problem.”
I believe that ending a funeral protest by physical force should be punishable by a fine up to $10.
What right is that?
The SCOTUS has ruled repeatedly that these powers are not restrained by many of the provisions of the Bill of Rights, e.g. the ability to raise an army by coercion using conscription.
Hate to say it, too, but the ruling is right. They are just not.
so the court essentially says we can joke at airports,, make assassination jokes, etc now,,,, If its ok to dance and celebrate in front of the parents at their childs funeral. Anyone can say anything, anywhere, anytime,,,
And I wonder if they maintained their prohibition of groups demonstrating on the steps of the spend court? You already know the answer,,,
You can mail it in.
Sadly, I believe you are right, MindBender.
Alito was the lone dissent...
nice idea,,, ten bucks!
Indiana Code 35-42-2-3. Provocation.
A person who recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally engages in conduct that is likely to provoke a reasonable man to commit battery commits provocation, a Class C infraction.
A class C Infraction is the same as a speeding ticket; $500 maximum fine, not subject to any jail time.
This is absolute garbage.
The soldier’s family had won the support of 42 senators and 48 states for its case at the lower court level.
The SC argument on behalf of the “church” was made by an attorney who is the daughter of one of the church’s elders.
There is no possible way a decision against this horrifying and disrespectful harrassment at funerals could ever have been—in theory or practice—construed as “shredding the First Amendment”.
There are hundreds of venues in America through which this church or any other can exercise free speech and proselytize or proclaim their views. They don’t need to torture American families to do it.
Turning a private funeral for a U.S. serviceman killed in action defending the U.S. into a public event or vehicle which somehow has attached to it a “constitutional” responsibility to guarantee “freedom of speech” to anyone who wishes to disrupt it, is tantamount to authorizing and condoning oral vandalism and graffiti wherever and whenever it spontaneously appears.
The SC is now dedicated to convolution of the law and “sticking it” to middle America and anyone else who does not share or will not tolerate elitist values and principles which are at the heart of the left’s continuing attack upon American society from within.
What a wicked “church” this is...but I agree the court made the correct decision.
Sadly, most of us agree with you Mindbender. Generally the people who only want their 'friends' to have free speech - are liberals. And none of us want to stand with them... That said, I understand where Alito was coming from... The Westboro folks are as close to evil as I'd ever want to encounter...
What ever happened to the old charge of “disturbing the peace” or “inciting violence or a riot”? This is absurd and obscene. - I thought people were counter-protesting and blocking these Clinton buddies with support signs and American flags. Someone or group has to be bankrolling these lounge lizards to give the Christian churches a trumped up bad name. They are damned ungodly reprobates!
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
No problem. Real Americans and Real Christians will defeat the nut cases from WBC. No one expected the courts to get this right.
The ruling that affirms the idiots right to be there also affirms every patriot and Christian right to be there (at the families request) to defend the families of our fallen warriors.
There are far far more of us then the idiots..
There is an answer. Budget cuts will obviously make it impossible for police support at these funerals. Therefore, any bikers who just “happen” to be in the area just might not be noticed when they beat the living **** out of these protestors.
After all, we already a fine Obama-t*rd tradition of the DOJ ignoring civil rights violations.
The cops are then free to come and scoop up the pieces after the Vietnam era bikers clean the clocks of the protestors.
The U.S. Supreme Court got this one right. In fact, I'm surprised it even made it this far in the U.S. legal system because the end result seemed very obvious to me.
Federal prisons are packed with individuals who have demonstrated persuasively a complete and utter disregard for the rights and dignity of law-abiding American citizens, yet who are quite capable of quoting fragments of the U.S. Constitution in defense of their actions. What’s your excuse?
“Federal prisons are packed with individuals who have demonstrated persuasively a complete and utter disregard for the rights and dignity of law-abiding American citizens, yet who are quite capable of quoting fragments of the U.S. Constitution in defense of their actions. Whats your excuse?”
My excuse is that I understand the First Amendment and understand that speech should not be prohibited simply because I find it offensive.
If it were the cast that speech that I happen to find offensive were banned, then there would be someone else who may one day claim that the free speech I exercise is somehow offensive and that my type of speech should be banned.
And what about one day when some people claim that the things that you say are offensive?
I guess the kooks will have to deal with getting their arses kicked at every protest.
Put some real fear into them.
This Westboro group is trying to incite riots and violence by pushing the envelope. I think they’re being PAID, being BANKROLLED to do so, because that is what certain elements in this country want. It will kill two birds with one stone and, most especially, those dastardly “Christians” who are SO violent and intolerant will come up “deserving” persecution.
I said whatever happend to “disturbing the peace”?
These hired guns (Westboro so-called “Baptists”) are most certainly disturbing the peace. Is that no longer a valid claim? The SC got it right, eh? Wait until you’re on the receiving end of something similar. - They’re also skating on thin ice and deserve what they get.
Would you apply the same standards if this were a group of law-abiding Americans demonstrating outside a radical Wahabbist mosque?
It's also worth noting that "disturbing the peace" never came into play in this case because there are already criminal statutes that would apply in a case like that. The absence of any such criminal charges in this case is very telling. This was a civil court case involving the defendant's appeal of a jury verdict for the plaintiff.
What about anti-abortion activists who are on public property harrassing the “clinic entrants”? Aren’t they limited?
I don’t know, I was hoping you knew of one. I figured their free speech .....nevermind. sigh
I was relieved to hear the decision. 8-1 is good strong stance for free speech.
Take a check?
Used to be that idiots like this would get their butts kicked and nobody would see a thing.
That’s a good question. My guess is that they’re covered under the First Amendment as long as they don’t impede a public thoroughfare.
That’s what I’m waiting for...hoping for.
I can’t quite put it into words, but surely there’s something about someone accosting a person with words....
You argue just like a liberal, full of absolutist sophistry.
I did not propose to silence the church.
Numerous venues exist for it to spew its brand of invective in many different ways.
No one can dispute that fact.
What I said in my post was that no church or any person should have a court-sanctioned right, under the guise of a “constitutional authorization”, to trespass upon the funeral services of ANY American and to direct toward the participants of that service (as a captive audience) a DISRUPTIVE and DISRESPECTFUL verbal tirade, the subject of which has nothing whatsoever to do with the bereaved family or the party who has lost their life in the defense of their country.
What the hell is wrong with people like you who elevate an absolutist perversion of the concept of free speech above and beyond the respect that we as a society and as a Christian nation OWE to those among us who have lost a loved one and are in the process of GRIEVING and placing that loved one to rest?
Why should a perverse and INFANTILE “right” to an absolute and unfettered freedom of speech trump the rights of others to peaceably and respectfully assemble to bury their dead?
Can you now burst into a church during a service and begin railing against the priest and the congregation any time you wish?
Can you now burst into a session of Congress and yell and scream at all of the representatives from the gallery above anytime you wish?
Can you now burst into a business and begin to harangue the employees anytime you wish?
Can you now surround my truck on the interstate when I am stopped in a traffic jam and can’t move away from you and force me to listen to your tirade as a captive audience?
You think this is really what “free speech” is all about?
God help you!
As Obama said this, Alito could be seen shaking his head and saying, “not true.”I added Obama to the sentence.http://www.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2010/01/obama-vs-alito-face-off-at-the-state-of-the-union/1