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Archive for Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Marine’s father files papers in Supreme Court case against Phelps

May 26, 2010

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— The father of a Marine killed in Iraq says anti-gay protesters who showed up with inflammatory signs at his son’s funeral in Maryland should not be given blanket protection by the Constitution.

Attorneys for Albert Snyder submitted a 67-page brief Monday in their case now before the U.S. Supreme Court. The attorneys argued the First Amendment does not fully protect the protesters because they infringed on Snyder’s own rights to peacefully assemble with family and friends for the funeral.

Snyder, a Pennsylvania resident, is challenging the protests held by the fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas. Westboro pastor Fred Phelps and other members — many of them Phelps’ family members — have become well known for their funeral protests, which they have used to advertise their belief that U.S. Iraq war deaths are punishment for the nation’s tolerance of homosexuality.

Church members have protested at numerous soldiers’ funerals nationwide. In March 2006, they protested at the funeral of 20-year-old Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, Albert Snyder’s son.

Lawyers wrote that the church members’ actions “interfered with the Snyders’ right to bury their son, a religious ceremony entitled to constitutional protection.”

In 2007, a jury found against Westboro and awarded Snyder nearly $11 million as compensation for emotional distress and invasion of privacy. That award was later reduced and then overturned by a court of appeals. Snyder’s attorneys are asking the high court to overturn the ruling that found that the Phelps’ conduct was “rhetorical hyperbole” protected by the First Amendment.

The Supreme Court agreed in March to take the case.

Comments

tange 3 years, 10 months ago

"The attorneys argued the First Amendment does not fully protect the protesters because they infringed on Snyder’s own rights to peacefully assemble with family and friends for the funeral..." and "... the church members’ actions “interfered with the Snyders’ right to bury their son, a religious ceremony entitled to constitutional protection.”

Sounds like a stretch. And, regarding fundamantalism—religious, political, militaristic, judicial—the "devout" invariably will craft their own interpretations; it's fundamental.

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md 3 years, 10 months ago

How can he possibly be a fundamentalist? They believe in the Bible. If this man has read it he would realize GOD DOESN`T HATE ANY ONE! He would also see that we are all sinners in need of repentance and a savior. Repent Fred.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years, 10 months ago

I sincerely hope that this results in the destruction of the Phleps regime. This horde of idiots and child abusers should have been put out of business long ago.

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oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 10 months ago

This is a shame that the marine's father has to go through all of this. In AMERICA no less.

One has to wonder what Fred Phelps parents were like.

So Fred couldn't hack Westpoint though. He dropped out.

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rbwaa 3 years, 10 months ago

Let's hope this effort works.

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