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US Court Rules For Military Funeral Protesters - Westboro 8 , America 1
indychannel ^ | UPDATED: 11:12 am EST March 2, 2011

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 ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
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1 posted on 03/02/2011 8:32:24 AM PST by InvisibleChurch
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To: InvisibleChurch

The church is very wrong, but the decision is legally correct


2 posted on 03/02/2011 8:34:09 AM PST by MindBender26 (Fighting the "con" in Conservatism on FR since 1998.)
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To: InvisibleChurch

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....


3 posted on 03/02/2011 8:35:10 AM PST by henkster (Before we make any more "investments" we ought to be shown the prospectus.)
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To: MindBender26

I’m with you.


4 posted on 03/02/2011 8:37:16 AM PST by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: cripplecreek

You don’t think that the picketing infringes on another’s rights?


5 posted on 03/02/2011 8:40:07 AM PST by Shimmer1
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To: MindBender26

It’s a very correct decision. Who was the dissent? Scalia?


6 posted on 03/02/2011 8:40:14 AM PST by jimfree (In 2012 Sarah Palin will continue to have more relevant quality executive experience than B. Obama.)
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To: jimfree

Never mind. Alito.


7 posted on 03/02/2011 8:41:05 AM PST by jimfree (In 2012 Sarah Palin will continue to have more relevant quality executive experience than B. Obama.)
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To: henkster

From Wikipedia:

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.”


8 posted on 03/02/2011 8:41:30 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: InvisibleChurch

I believe that ending a funeral protest by physical force should be punishable by a fine up to $10.


9 posted on 03/02/2011 8:46:26 AM PST by ConservaTexan (February 6, 1911)
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To: Shimmer1

What right is that?


10 posted on 03/02/2011 8:47:11 AM PST by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: InvisibleChurch
It seems to me that the Congress could ban these protests under its Article I powers to raise an army, reasoning that such protests interfere with the Federal government's ability to raise an army or conduct military operations (such as funeral honors for the fallen).

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.

11 posted on 03/02/2011 8:47:34 AM PST by pierrem15 (Claudius: "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.")
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To: InvisibleChurch

Hate to say it, too, but the ruling is right. They are just not.


12 posted on 03/02/2011 8:48:14 AM PST by McKayopectate
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To: dfwgator

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,,,


13 posted on 03/02/2011 8:50:22 AM PST by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office)
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To: ConservaTexan
I believe that ending a funeral protest by physical force should be punishable by a fine up to $10.

You can mail it in.

14 posted on 03/02/2011 8:51:58 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: MindBender26; StarFan; Dutchy; alisasny; BobFromNJ; BUNNY2003; Cacique; Clemenza; Coleus; cyborg; ..
The church is very wrong, but the decision is legally correct

Sadly, I believe you are right, MindBender.

Alito was the lone dissent...

15 posted on 03/02/2011 8:52:19 AM PST by nutmeg (God bless Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin)
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To: ConservaTexan

nice idea,,, ten bucks!


16 posted on 03/02/2011 8:52:29 AM PST by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office)
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To: dfwgator

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.


17 posted on 03/02/2011 8:58:42 AM PST by henkster (Before we make any more "investments" we ought to be shown the prospectus.)
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To: InvisibleChurch

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.


18 posted on 03/02/2011 9:09:31 AM PST by 4Runner
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To: MindBender26

Aaarrrggghhhhhh...

What a wicked “church” this is...but I agree the court made the correct decision.


19 posted on 03/02/2011 9:09:31 AM PST by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: MindBender26
The church is very wrong, but the decision is legally correct...

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...

20 posted on 03/02/2011 9:11:59 AM PST by GOPJ (http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/index2.php - It's only uncivil when someone on the right does it.- Laz)
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To: InvisibleChurch

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!


21 posted on 03/02/2011 9:12:53 AM PST by Twinkie ( PEACE)
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To: 4Runner

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.


22 posted on 03/02/2011 9:16:48 AM PST by trumandogz
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To: InvisibleChurch

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..


23 posted on 03/02/2011 9:17:45 AM PST by SECURE AMERICA
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To: MindBender26

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.


24 posted on 03/02/2011 9:19:18 AM PST by Da Coyote
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To: Twinkie
As a poster astutely pointed out on another thread, there's no justification for an argument about "inciting violence or a riot" in a case where NO violence and NO riot took place. As ridiculous as it may seem, you have to react violently to a protest like this before you can later make a legal case that the protest incited violence.

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.

25 posted on 03/02/2011 9:24:06 AM PST by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: trumandogz

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?


26 posted on 03/02/2011 9:41:08 AM PST by 4Runner
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To: MindBender26
You are absolutely correct.
27 posted on 03/02/2011 9:42:04 AM PST by bmwcyle (It is Satan's fault)
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To: 4Runner

“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?”

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?


28 posted on 03/02/2011 10:00:14 AM PST by trumandogz
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To: InvisibleChurch

Fine.

I guess the kooks will have to deal with getting their arses kicked at every protest.

Put some real fear into them.


29 posted on 03/02/2011 10:05:53 AM PST by roses of sharon ("Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise." Luke 23:43)
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To: InvisibleChurch
The High Court got this one right. These douchebags have the right to protest but I would argue that we have just as much right to protest the protesters.

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PATRIOT GUARD RIDERS
30 posted on 03/02/2011 10:32:22 AM PST by marine86297 (I'll never forgive Clinton for Somalia, my blood is on his hands)
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To: Alberta's Child

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.


31 posted on 03/02/2011 1:54:46 PM PST by Twinkie ( PEACE)
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To: Twinkie
If staging a peaceful demonstration (regardless of the vile nature of what they may be saying) in a public place hundreds of yards away from a funeral somehow constitutes "disturbing the peace," then we may as well flush the First Amendment down the toilet. Because I'll tell y'all this . . . you can be sure than every leftist in this country would love to have an opportunity to use the same rationale to squelch legitimate public dissent from their own radical policies.

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.

32 posted on 03/02/2011 2:15:02 PM PST by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: Alberta's Child

What about anti-abortion activists who are on public property harrassing the “clinic entrants”? Aren’t they limited?


33 posted on 03/02/2011 4:16:03 PM PST by Twinkie ( PEACE)
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To: cripplecreek

I don’t know, I was hoping you knew of one. I figured their free speech .....nevermind. sigh


34 posted on 03/02/2011 5:27:25 PM PST by Shimmer1
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To: MindBender26

I was relieved to hear the decision. 8-1 is good strong stance for free speech.


35 posted on 03/02/2011 5:30:00 PM PST by Balding_Eagle (Overproduction, one of the top five worries of the American Farmer each and every year..)
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To: ConservaTexan

Take a check?

:)


36 posted on 03/02/2011 6:14:17 PM PST by MindBender26 (Fighting the "con" in Conservatism on FR since 1998.)
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To: Shimmer1

Used to be that idiots like this would get their butts kicked and nobody would see a thing.


37 posted on 03/02/2011 6:23:45 PM PST by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: Twinkie

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.


38 posted on 03/02/2011 6:53:57 PM PST by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: cripplecreek

That’s what I’m waiting for...hoping for.


39 posted on 03/02/2011 7:13:00 PM PST by Shimmer1
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To: cripplecreek

I can’t quite put it into words, but surely there’s something about someone accosting a person with words....


40 posted on 03/02/2011 9:44:28 PM PST by Shimmer1 (Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. - MLK Jr.)
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To: trumandogz

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!


41 posted on 03/02/2011 9:56:50 PM PST by 4Runner
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To: InvisibleChurch
Gotta love Alito.Shook up the Obama “State of the Union”last year.:)”Obama criticized the Supreme Court's ruling last week that corporations can spend as much money as they want on political campaigns, saying it will “open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations.”

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

42 posted on 03/02/2011 10:13:15 PM PST by fatima (Free Hugs Today :))
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