Supreme Court Rules 8-1 That Westboro Baptist Church Has Right to Picket Funerals of Soldiers
"The Supreme Court has ruled that the First Amendment protects fundamentalist church members who mount attention-getting, anti-gay protests outside military funerals. The court voted 8-1 Wednesday in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan. 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."
Justice Samuel Alito was the lone dissenter, according to CBS News:
"Our profound national commitment to free and open debate is not a license for the vicious verbal assault that occurred in this case," Alito wrote in his dissent.
The case involved a Maryland man whose slain soldier son's (Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder) funeral was targeted by Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church picketers.
As you may remember, the man was awarded nearly $11 million in October 2007 in punitive damages, damages for emotional distress, and compensation. The WBC thumbed its collective nose at that judgment, which was later cut in half, and finally thrown out entirely by the U.S. Court of Appeals.
The Phelps clan believes God is killing soldiers because of the U.S.A.'s tolerance of homosexuality.