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Judge: State ban on protests at military funerals unconstitutional

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posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 07:05 PM
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Judge: State ban on protests at military funerals unconstitutional


www.cnn.com

Missouri's tight restrictions on protests and picketing outside military funerals were tossed out by a federal judge Monday, over free speech concerns.

The Supreme Court has never addressed the specific issues of laws designed to protect the "sanctity and dignity of memorial and funeral services," as well as the privacy of family and friends of the deceased. But the justices in October will hear an appeal from the father of a U.S. solider killed in Iraq, after members of the Westboro Church conducted an angry demonstration at his son's burial service in Maryland.
(visit the link for the full news article)



[edit on 16-8-2010 by misinformational]




posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 07:05 PM
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This is a tough one. Phelps actions are obviously immoral and disgusting. I hate to think that religious bigots like Phelps are allowed to disgrace the funeral proceedings of one that lost his life serving his country. But can we allow the government to infringe on our 1st Amendment Rights? Wouldn't this just be precedent for allowing further infringement?

As much as it disgusts me to say, I think this judge made the right call. Perhaps though, there can be middle ground. Any ideas?

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

[edit - grammar]

[edit on 16-8-2010 by misinformational]



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 07:08 PM
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Wow...so it made it to SCOTUS. Something to watch, but I too am certain the state rulings will be upheld. Ugly as it is.

And go Patriot Guard!



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 07:08 PM
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I think a private funeral should not be allowed to be impinged by a public protest. As a private function it should be allowed to call upon law enforcement to keep public intrusion at bay.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 07:10 PM
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reply to post by Varemia
 


Your inalienable right of free speech isn't limited to public property.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 07:12 PM
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reply to post by misinformational
 


Freedom of speech is not the same as infringing upon the funeral-goers right to a peaceful burial of the dead. I know that's not a "constitutional right", but bloody hell, it's the right thing to do.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 07:13 PM
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As everyone knows I am against all of these wars and even military bases on foreign soil.

But a protest at someone's funeral is just disgusting.
Respect the dead!

Why torture the parents for this? It's just so in bad taste and defames the anti-war movement as well.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 07:14 PM
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Police and the Patriot Guard do protect the funeral and attendees from the protesters. And I believe local rulings do impose limits to how close the protesters can get. That probably varies by state.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 07:14 PM
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The right to free speech is the right to criticize the government - so if these creeps want to criticize their government they should go to the Halls of Congress or their legislative representatives office...not to a graveyard...I don't care that the U.S. pays for the funeral costs, some things should be held sacred and burial is one of them.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 07:15 PM
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reply to post by Varemia
 


I agree Varemia - Phelps' acts are vile and hopefully he'll get what's coming to him. However, I'm an advocate for our constitution and we can't say that under certain circumstances that people are not allowed to a constitutionally protected right and others they are. The government WILL take advantage of this should it become a precedent.

[edit - grammar]

[edit on 16-8-2010 by misinformational]



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 07:16 PM
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Phelps and the rest of his Devilish family need to be humbled in a very serious manner. This judge needs to be tared and feathered just for being ignorant of the harm done by Phelps and his dregs of society! 1st amendment or not it's just plain WRONG!

Zindo



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 07:18 PM
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reply to post by ~Lucidity
 


I was still active-duty Marine when this fiasco went down... I can remember the amount of pride I felt when I first read of the Patriot Guard.

And I think you nailed Lucidity, there is our way to ensure that our rights aren't infringed, while protecting the sanctity of a funeral. It's private citizen like those of the Patriot Guard that do a great service to this country.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 07:18 PM
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While it bodes ill what the government can do with a ruling on this, it cannot truly be helped. The government can and will do basically anything it pleases, regardless of the constitution. People will also take advantage of others' natural rights regardless of the law and constitution. Sometimes a balance must be made between lawful protection and lawful oppression.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 07:19 PM
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reply to post by bowlbyville
 


Your definition of free speech is lacking... We have much more than the right of free speech against our government... We have the right to voice whatever we choice.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 07:21 PM
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People are protected from hate speech. Freedom of speech does not mean you can say anything.

It is called the harm principle. If a person's statement can cause harm, it is not covered under freedom of speech.

I personally believe in freedom from speech.

I believe the judge is blatantly wrong. These people are causing emotional distress and are creating hate speech. What in the hell does homosexuality have to do with a deceased soldier? All this judge is doing is protecting one small lunatic group. While small groups should be protected, there is no basis for this one.

It is against the law to defile a grave. So why isn't it against the law to defile a funeral?

So what is next, weddings and bar mitzvahs?

I had a personal run in with freedom of speech once that should be protected from harm but wasn't, and it was a grey area.

As I was driving my child to the babysitter one day, a bunch of anti-abortionists had these horrific signs of aborted fetuses that were like 6/6 in the medium. My child is sensitive and prone to nightmares. I had no chance to protect him from this obscene display.

I called the police. They said there is nothing they could do because they were protected by FOS.

I told the officer, I have a right to protect my 2 year old. They have removed my ability to parent and censor what my 2 y.o. sees. Now this is going to give him nightmares. What about his rights and mine?

The officer, being an officer and not a philospher, didn't say anything. But the group was removed due to safety concerns.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 07:21 PM
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reply to post by misinformational
 


We have the right to voice it, but we also have the right to voice to them to go away. In a nation without laws, it would be entirely fine for the funeral-goers to kill all those protesting at them. The protesters rely on the government to allow them to continue harming the emotional solitude of the funeral-goers.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 07:23 PM
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reply to post by Varemia
 


Or perhaps it is the protesters that are attempting to infringe on our rights by putting us in such a difficult position. Are we now going to volunteer our natural rights just to shut-up some scum? Maybe that's their objective.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 07:26 PM
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reply to post by misinformational
 


That's the thing. It should be the funeral-goers' right to be able to use the government to keep the protesters away. As a law, it should not exist, but it should be an available choice during distress to be able to use the government in a positive fashion.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 07:28 PM
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reply to post by nixie_nox
 


Philosophically I completely agree with you. But when our government starts to violate the 1st Amendment by making it illegal to protest, even if that particular situation is despicable, then we're giving our government the green-light to start chipping away. Precedents are extremely important in any legal system and I can promise you that, should this become such, it will have ill effect for all of us.

It took private citizens, the Patriot Guard, to stop the problem and that's all it will ever take... As our government shows us, intimidation goes a long ways.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 07:29 PM
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reply to post by misinformational
 


Indeed this is true. Unfortunately there is not much to do about it, as the legal system is inherently flawed by a lot of the precedent system.




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