Supreme Court:Westboro Baptist Church can protest funerals

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by Free Thinker, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. i am a bit torn on this one but i think the supreme court is right. free speech must be protected.

    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.

    Roberts said free speech rights in the First Amendment shield the funeral protesters, noting that they obeyed police directions and were 1,000 feet from the church.

    "Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and – as it did here – inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker," Roberts said. "As a nation we have chosen a different course – to protect even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate."
     
  2. It was the correct decision. I do not agree with them but we do live in a democracy.
     
  3. Louis Theroux has a great show on these guys.

    People should check it out.
     
  4. Lucrum

    Lucrum

    I'm OK with the support of free speech so long as the so called fighting words doctrine is upheld as well. IOW it would be perfectly OK for friends and family of the deceased to beat the shit out of the Westboro protesters.
     
  5. Perhaps the Supreme Court decided the best way to end the nonsense of the Westboro Baptist Church was to allow them to continue with their madness so people could see just how insensitive they are.
     
  6. Lucrum

    Lucrum

    Doesn't sound like a legal basis for a court ruling to me.