Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling that effectively overturned a Michigan law -- and undoubtedly angered and outraged the vast majority of the nation’s citizens.
The nation’s highest court said that the obnoxious protests that members of the Westboro Baptist Church stage at military funerals are fully protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.
Chief Justice John Roberts decreed that our nation’s fundamental commitment to free speech requires full protection of, quote “even hurtful speech on public issues.”
Now if you need reminding, the Westboro Baptist Church is a small group from Topeka, Kansas that mainly consists of the members of one large extended family. They believe homosexuality is evil and America deserves divine punishment for tolerating it.
Accordingly, they’ve been traveling the country picketing at military funerals, waving signs that say things like “God Hates America,” “God Hates Fags,” and “Thank God for Dead Soldiers.”
Somehow, they believe our war casualties are fitting punishment for tolerance.
Michigan passed a law five years ago that was squarely aimed at the Westboro group. It essentially prohibited any such conduct within five hundred feet of a funeral.
But the U.S. Supreme Court ruling essentially makes it all but certain that the Michigan law will be struck down as unconstitutional, if prosecutors attempt to use it. Now ever since the 1960s, conservatives have often complained that out-of-touch liberals on the nation‘s highest court were improperly distorting the Constitution.