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U.S. Supreme Court: Will distress trump the First Amendment right to free speech?

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posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 11:51 AM
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U.S. Supreme Court: Will distress trump the First Amendment right to free speech?


www.u pi.com

Next fall, the U. S. Supreme Court will hear the case of Snyder vs. Phelps, in which it's possible the speech-related practices of an obnoxious group will be curbed -- but at the price of some new First Amendment fetters.

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church picketed the March 10, 2006, funeral of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, a U.S. Marine who was killed a week earlier in Iraq. They displayed placards reading, "God hates you," "Thank God for Dead Soldiers" and "Semper Fi Fags."

The deceased soldier's father, Albert Snyder, sued the church and its founder, the Rev. Fred Phelps, in
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 11:51 AM
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[I]A protester with the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, KS, chants as the funeral procession for U.S. Army Pvt. Peter Navarro pulls up to the St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Church in Ellisville, Mo on December 23, 2005. The group led by the Pastor Fred Phelps. protests at the funerals of U.S. servicemen and women claiming that God is punishing those that fight in the Iraq war. Navarro was killed by a roadside bomb on December 13 in Iraq.[/I]

What un-American lib leftie Marxist military haters abusing the First Amendment to spew out their disrespectfully treasonous tirade.


The cardboard posters should read 'Fag Liberal in Hell', 'Thank God for Slain Liberals' and 'Semper Fi Hard Core Homophobes'.

www.u pi.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 11:53 AM
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I may not agree with what they said, but I will defend their right to say it.

Freedom of Speech goes both ways. I hope the Supreme Court understands that and throws the case out.

Sure it's bad taste and completely un called for. That's America for you.

~Keeper



posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 12:06 PM
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I defend freedom of speech and I will say they have a right to say what they want. However they should not have a right to be protected by police everywhere they go. Tax dollars are going to defend a small group of crazy people that offend intentionally. Let them pay for their own protection, even if they don't deserve it.



posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 12:32 PM
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Free speech should always be defended. Unfortunately we have morons like these using their free speech rights. What they did was disgusting and any so-called group of Christians protesting like that at a funeral are no fellow brothers and sisters of mine.

[edit on 10-04-08 by Beach Bum]

[edit on 10-04-08 by Beach Bum]



posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 12:43 PM
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Seems to me the real issue isn't so much the speech itself it's the location of their assembly that creates the constitutional issue. Does a group right to assemble for religious purposes, at specific locations typical for such purposes preclude the intrusion on that event and place and time of some other group assembling to exercise free speech rights that are inconsistent with the venue? I see it as conflicting first ammendment provisions that need to be sorted out. Just who's first ammendment or fundamental inalienable rights here are really being trampled? Guess it's a good thing color guards at military funerals don't use live ammo.

gj

spelling edit

[edit on 4-4-2010 by ganjoa]



posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 12:55 PM
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reply to post by tothetenthpower
 


This group does have the right to free speech, regardless of how idiotic I think they are. But does that trump the family's rights? The family was trying to mourn their loss in peace and instead a church group used the first amendment as a shield to hide behind while harassing and intentionally causing mental anguish to the bereaved. Yes they can say pretty much whatever they want within reason, but where do we draw the line between legitimate uses of the first amendment and blatant abuse of it? The first amendment isn't a very good defense for causing mental anguish in the case of racist remarks or for yelling fire in a crowded theater, and I don't believe it's a good defense for causing mental anguish at a funeral.



posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 01:07 PM
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I believe the "free speech" of the Westboro loons is protected from the infringement of the Government (which is, literally, what the First Amendment does).

I, also, believe Mr. Snyder and others who have been the victims of the verbal assaults of the nutjobs, would have been within their rights to distribute some "ass whoopin'", at the time. The First Amendment does not provide Phelps and his ignorant minions protection from that. At least that is how I would find, as juror in any assault trial.



posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 01:12 PM
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reply to post by WTFover
 


Temporary insanity is what I would have plead after bashing in some heads with a 2by4.

I wonder if this kind of behavior would have been allowed if this had been a Presidential or Congressional burial.



posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 01:16 PM
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Hell if the neo-nazi can march and be defended by police because of free speech, those morons sure can say the horrible things they said.

Free speech first.

Supreme Court should reject the case.



posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 01:24 PM
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The Phelps gang should not be tried on First Amendment grounds. They should be charged with harassment and disturbing the peace.



posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 01:55 PM
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It does protect freedom of speech but that does not allow people to spew hate and that's why these nutjobs were denied entry to Canada last year to protest the funeral of McClean who was beheaded on a Greyhound bus by a nutjob.

These people have no morals and how they hide behind the church is disgusting. The bible warns not to WORSHIP FALSE IDOLS.

Some people will burn in hell thinking they did everything right.



posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 02:05 PM
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I've never understood this. I cannot go down the street blasting an air-horn at 2am. I would be charged with disturbing the peace. I cannot go to a local funeral and blast an air-horn, that would be disturbing the peace.

Just because they are blow-hards that choose to disturb the peace at a soldier's funeral doesn't grant them immunity from being charged for such. This really is simple, and there is no judge in their right mind that would not hold them accountable for disturbing the peace, eventually leading to their jail-time.

It should be simple, and the fact that the Supreme Court may hear it disturbs me as I don't trust them to hold much common sense after making a corporation a person.

*Edit - Spelling

[edit on 4/4/10 by niteboy82]



posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 02:12 PM
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It occurs to me that the Phelps case could be considered in a different light. It starts with one group, the mourners, exercising their free speech to express their grief, loss, and so forth, in a place where it is accepted and expected. Then another group proceeds to use that same free speech to interfere with the rights of the first, in place it is technically constitutional, but unexpected, unasked for, and depending on the law of the place, illegal (as in disturbing the peace)



posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 02:48 PM
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Originally posted by tothetenthpower
I may not agree with what they said, but I will defend their right to say it.

Freedom of Speech goes both ways. I hope the Supreme Court understands that and throws the case out.

Sure it's bad taste and completely un called for. That's America for you.

~Keeper


I agree with you to only one point, and that is being able to say what is on our minds. But, when this is done with a lack of respect, then I draw a line. A funeral is where people grieve for a loved one, and they should be left to do so without interruption from outsiders.



posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 02:59 PM
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You should be able to say anything to anyone you want, even it it drives them to kill themselves of kill someone else.

The constitution gives us that right.



posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 03:00 PM
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It`s one thing to have free speech, but it`s having wisdom enough to use it wisely is another. These people making trouble at a funeral have no common sense or wisdom at all. It puts me more in the mind of someone looking to make headline news. I wonder how well they would like to have someone crash a funeral they may be having. I don`t believe they would like it at all.



posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 03:07 PM
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Free speech is great, but they fail to realize that there's a responsibility that goes along with that. Sort of like yelling, "Movie!" in a crowded fire house.



posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 03:07 PM
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Originally posted by RestingInPieces
You should be able to say anything to anyone you want, even it it drives them to kill themselves of kill someone else.

The constitution gives us that right.



That is only true, if the person saying these things has no wisdom what-so-ever and very few morals and very little intelligence. Yea, makes one want to stand up for that person, doesn`t it?



posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 03:08 PM
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reply to post by ironfalcon
 



What un-American lib leftie Marxist military haters abusing the First Amendment to spew out their disrespectfully treasonous tirade.


Uh, as far as I can see, Westboro Baptist Church sits on the extreme, nutty, far-right of the political spectrum, residing in a little realm of like-minded theocratic nutjobs. I would be hard pressed to find any trace of Marxism in their ideology, or even that of liberalism.

I also fail to see how this is an 'abuse' of the First Amendment - they have every right to exercise free speech, regardless of whatever vile slime they spew forth. Them's the breaks when it comes to free speech, you even have to let the nutters have their say.


The cardboard posters should read 'Fag Liberal in Hell', 'Thank God for Slain Liberals' and 'Semper Fi Hard Core Homophobes'.


Case in point. This post, if I understand it right, is just as offensive and inflammatory as the picket signs of Westboro themselves. Yet you are still allowed to say it, no?



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