Welcome to PatsFans.com

The ACLU will be pleased

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Patters, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    17,757
    Likes Received:
    130
    Ratings:
    +167 / 4 / -4

    1st Amendment protects military funeral protesters - Yahoo! News

    WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the First Amendment protects fundamentalist church members who mount anti-gay protests outside military funerals, despite the pain they cause grieving families.

    The court voted 8-1 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.

    Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion for the court. Justice Samuel Alito dissented.
  2. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Messages:
    25,853
    Likes Received:
    84
    Ratings:
    +188 / 3 / -10

    They'll be protected by law (sadly), but who's going to protect them from the vast majority of US citizens? Particularly, those who are mourning their fallen hero's....
  3. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    17,757
    Likes Received:
    130
    Ratings:
    +167 / 4 / -4

    They are protected by our laws. In fact, when they protested gay marriage in Cambridge, the 20 or so members of that nutty church were protected by probably 25 cops in full riot gear.
  4. sdaniels7114

    sdaniels7114 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    5,742
    Likes Received:
    7
    Ratings:
    +7 / 0 / -0

    We got people working to make the ERA part of the Constitution, to make English the national language, and a bunch of others.

    Isn't anyone working to add the words "except at funerals." To the First?

    Seems like a worthy pursuit for our elected officials.
  5. STFarmy

    STFarmy Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Messages:
    2,677
    Likes Received:
    6
    Ratings:
    +6 / 0 / -0

    It's absolutely true. Free speech isn't stuff that we want to hear or like hearing. If that was the case, we wouldn't need laws about it, because no one would care. These creeps (the "church" people, not the SCJs haha) know the law, and they do their best to make sure that they follow it while they get out their rotten message. I get the outrage, but free speech is free speech. We can't disallow it because the majority of us find it disrespectful and despicable. There's a number of free speech ways to counter them: ignore it, yell over it, or post a blog mocking them (legally). This is our responsibility in a nation that values free speech.
  6. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    15,385
    Likes Received:
    246
    Ratings:
    +350 / 8 / -3

    #12 Jersey

    The trouble with exceptions is that once you make one everyone else expects one.

    Do you really want to open that door and give credit to the eventual downfall of free speech
    to a small bunch of nutwad fruitcakes like the Westboro Baptist Church?
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011
  7. sdaniels7114

    sdaniels7114 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    5,742
    Likes Received:
    7
    Ratings:
    +7 / 0 / -0

    That's fine, they can expect all they want. Its not like its easy to pass an amendment. 2/3'rds of Congress plus 3/4's of all state legislatures have to agree IIRC*. Just because Jet fans would like it to be illegal for someone to call them doofuses doesn't mean anyone would ever bother going through that lengthy process. I do think people would be willing to do it to stop the Westboro people.


    *I just looked it up. My Civics teacher would be proud to know I got it right:D
  8. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2005
    Messages:
    39,103
    Likes Received:
    124
    Ratings:
    +334 / 1 / -9

  9. Stokes

    Stokes Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Messages:
    2,423
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0

    Should have been 9-0. I'll be interested to read Alito's dissent.

    Protecting controversial free speech is a cornerstone of our democracy, even if we think the speakers are abhorrent.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011
  10. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2005
    Messages:
    39,103
    Likes Received:
    124
    Ratings:
    +334 / 1 / -9

  11. chicowalker

    chicowalker Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    12,839
    Likes Received:
    97
    Ratings:
    +152 / 2 / -1

  12. STFarmy

    STFarmy Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Messages:
    2,677
    Likes Received:
    6
    Ratings:
    +6 / 0 / -0

    100% Stokes. I only read the short version of Alito's dissent, but I found it flimsy:

    "Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. dissented in the case, Snyder v. Phelps, No. 09-751. He likened the protest to fighting words, which are not protected by the First Amendment.

    'In order to have a society in which public issues can be openly and vigorously debated,' he wrote, 'it is not necessary to allow the brutalization of innocent victims.' "
  13. PatsFanInEaglesLand

    PatsFanInEaglesLand Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Messages:
    3,794
    Likes Received:
    42
    Ratings:
    +85 / 6 / -9

    #37 Jersey

    Their signs they hold and the chants that they do at the funerals, are defiantly "fighting" words.

    If you have ever been to one of the funerals, they are trying to instigate violence.
  14. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    26,819
    Likes Received:
    144
    Ratings:
    +306 / 4 / -2

    I don't like what they do, and would probably punch them all in teh face if I saw them, but the decision is the right one. Now only if the court would see the other Amendments in the same light. When I see the 2nd Amendment barely survive 5-4 votes I can't help but shake my head a little bit. This ruling is the sacrafice we make for living in a free country. Just cuz we don't like the speech, it doesn't man we can outlaw it.
  15. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    41,002
    Likes Received:
    107
    Ratings:
    +186 / 6 / -23

    As much as I abhor these jackazzes...

    What the court did was expected and predicted...

    People need to get creative in dealing with these folks, I like what they were planning on doing with the angels at Dallas Greens Grandaughter's funeral..

    They just made the front page across the nation once again, and they thrive on this type of media..
  16. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    24,625
    Likes Received:
    67
    Ratings:
    +126 / 7 / -13

    Why are these funerals treated as public events. Shouldn't a family be able to hold a private funeral?


    Does this mean that political activist could start harassing politicians having dinner at a restaurant.

    How can these funerals be held as private events?
  17. chicowalker

    chicowalker Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    12,839
    Likes Received:
    97
    Ratings:
    +152 / 2 / -1

    I don't think they protest on private property -- they're usually on public property outside the location of the funeral.
  18. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Messages:
    9,111
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    There are already all sorts of exceptions to free speech, threatening words and certain forms of harassment among them. I think this practice should have been outlawed because it constitutes deliberate harassment when they target funerals.

    If they want to hold a rally in some public park, IMHO that's protected free speech. But harassment of targeted and specific individuals should not be.
  19. chicowalker

    chicowalker Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    12,839
    Likes Received:
    97
    Ratings:
    +152 / 2 / -1

    I think harrassment requires a pattern of aggressiveness towards an individual, doesn't it? You can't prohibit picketing or -- I would think -- that would then mean that companies couldn't be picketed, either. I think it gets overly broad.

    What I would think could be acceptable, however, is a buffer zone of sorts outside funerals. I'm pretty sure that exists in other instances -- I would think this could be another one.
  20. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Messages:
    9,111
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    Well I ain't one of them fancy law talkin' fellas with all the book learnin'. So I googled the legal definition of harassment and the top response came:

    "the act of systematic and/or continued unwanted and annoying actions of one party or a group"

    I'd say what they're doing is systematic and unwanted. Like I said before, I have no problem with protests or rallies. But AFAIC to target out specific individuals crosses the line.
    I would guess they already are buffer zones in place. I hate to say this, but one of the problems is all the attention they get. I know it's important to keep track of such groups, but I can't help but feel that if people just ignored them, they would go away.

Share This Page

unset ($sidebar_block_show); ?>