Podcasts & RSS Feeds
Most Active Stories
- Don't like the water shut-offs in Detroit? Now you can pay someone's overdue water bill
- Approaching construction on the highway? Experts say the "zipper merge" can help
- This ballot proposal is critical to Michigan's economy, but most people won't bother to vote on it
- These three female candidates could be some of the most interesting leaders in Michigan
- Those who want to outlaw publications over sexually explicit ads should study Constitution first
Wed March 2, 2011
Supreme Court rules in favor of Westboro funeral protestors
In "Snyder v. Phelps," the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Fred Phelps, the leader of the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas.
The Church got attention by picketing military funerals holding signs that read:
- "God Hates the USA/Thank God for 9/11"
- "America is Doomed”
- “Don’t Pray for the USA"
- “Thank God for IEDs”
- “Thank God for Dead Soldiers”
- “Pope in Hell”
- “Priests Rape Boys”
- “God Hates Fags”
- “You’re Going to Hell”
- and last, but not least... “God Hates You.”
From the Wall Street Journal:
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the First Amendment protects a fringe religious group that protested at the funeral of a U.S. Marine killed in Iraq.
The court, on an 8-1 vote, ruled that the soldier's father couldn't sue Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., for celebrating his son's death with vulgar funeral pickets and an online attack.
The case was a test of how far the First Amendment goes in protecting offensive speech.
In the opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote:
"Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and—as it did here—inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker. As a Nation we have chosen a different course—to protect even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stiflepublic debate. That choice requires that we shield West-boro from tort liability for its picketing in this case.
NPR's Two-Way writes "the 8-1 ruling backs an appeals court decision to throw out a $5 million victory for Albert Snyder, who sued the fundamentalist church after its members picketed his son's funeral."