Archive for Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Federal judge stops Missouri sheriff from enforcing law if Phelps protest funeral

November 24, 2010


— A federal judge has entered a consent judgment barring an eastern Missouri sheriff from enforcing state statutes prohibiting desecration of the flag and protests near funerals.

The American Civil Liberties Union said Tuesday that the case may be the first to challenge Missouri's flag desecration statute.

Earlier this year, St. Francois County Sheriff Dan Bullock pledged to enforce Missouri's flag desecration and funeral protest laws if members of Westboro Baptist Church protested at the funeral of a soldier. The ACLU filed suit in June on behalf of Shirley Phelps-Roper, a member of Westboro Baptist, based in Topeka, Kan.

Members of the church have drawn national attention for protests to express their view that U.S. deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq are God's punishment for American immorality and tolerance of homosexuality and abortion.


Keith 7 years, 7 months ago

Members of the church have drawn national attention for protests to express their view that U.S. deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq are prime opportunities for them to be attention whores.

I think this is a more concise expression of their intent.

Stuart Evans 7 years, 7 months ago

I believe that the ACLU does work "both ways".. in fact it works in many directions. Just because you find yourself on the opposite viewpoint of a case that they're working, does not mean they are choosing a certain ideology. What the ACLU is doing is protecting the most important of our rights; and it's unfortunate that so many of our valuable rights can be used to say things that are hard to stomach. But that gives us just as much right to protest the protesters, or more importantly the leadership of the country.

Look, I don't care for the Phelps clan or their message, but if we allow the government to quell their hate speech, you've asked them to do the same to you. Where is the line? Will flipping someone off, become a hate crime, because it is offensive for some people?

Let these nuts protest, they are just looking for attention and lawsuits.

Kermit Cottrell 7 years, 7 months ago

"protecting the most important of our rights." You just admitted that they have to have an agenda otherwise they cannot determine which rights are most important. I have Never heard of the ACLU protecting the rights of Christians to practice their religion. Yet, I see them protecting the rights of other religions. There is no such thing as 'most important rights' or rights for only some people. Rights have to be protected for all people, all of the time.

Alfred_W 7 years, 7 months ago

Never heard of the ACLU fighting for Christians? Didn't look very hard, did you?

dccircuitboy 7 years, 7 months ago

They came to Ohio State a few weeks ago when they were on there way to the SCOTUS. There were 5 or 6 Phelps people (2 of which were little kids), but there were over a hundred students and other counter protesters. The Phelps people didn't last 10 minutes before they hopped in their blue van and ran! It was great.

These people have a right to free speech, but they are sick and disturbed.

whats_going_on 7 years, 7 months ago

thats really great, I hope that continues!

irvan moore 7 years, 7 months ago

i find it interesting we protect the Phelps rights while taking away the rights of the Sheriff to enforce the laws of his state.

bad_dog 7 years, 7 months ago

The Phelp's constitutional right to free speech will be determined by the SCOTUS in the near future. Laws against flag desecration have already been found unconstitutional, so Missouri's law is also apparently unenforceable. If anything, they are "taking away" the Sheriff's right to act in an unconstitutional manner.

Blessed4x 7 years, 7 months ago

I'm with this. Simply have a very large crowd congregate around their van and while hidden from view, the deed could be done. Everyone faces out and can honestly say that they say nothing. The bonus is that if it's a small enough town, word could quickly spread that any business repairing their vehicle would be boycotted. Do this at enough funerals these filth protest and we might just start a standard protocol to deal with them.

tomatogrower 7 years, 7 months ago

The only problem with that is it would keep them in town longer.

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