Topic - Matthew Snyder

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  • Illustration: Free speech by Alexander Hunter for The Washington Times

    KNIGHT: High cost of free speech

    I'm with Samuel A. Alito Jr. - at least in spirit. The associate justice was alone in his dissent in Snyder v. Phelps, in which the U.S. Supreme Court in an 8-1 ruling on Wednesday voided a damage verdict against the Westboro Baptist Church for picketing a Maryland soldier's funeral. You know the Westboro folks. They're the media darlings from Topeka, Kan., who have picketed nearly 600 funerals. The Rev. Fred Phelps and his family brandish signs, the most famous of which is "God Hates Fags." Lately, they've been picketing military funerals with signs such as "God Hates the USA/Thank God for 9/11" and "Thank God for Dead Soldiers," saying they got what they deserve because America tolerates homosexuality.

  • Margie Phelps, second from right, a daughter of Fred Phelps, and the lawyer who argued the case for of the Westboro Baptist Church, of Tokepa Kan., walks from the Supreme Court, in Washington on Oct. 6, 2010. The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday, March 2, 2011, that the First Amendment protects fundamentalist church members who mount attention-getting, anti-gay protests outside military funerals. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

    Supreme Court allows church protests at military funerals

    The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the First Amendment protects fundamentalist church members who mount attention-getting, anti-gay protests outside military funerals.

  • ** FILE ** Rebekah Phelps-Roper, demonstrating near the Tennessee Capitol in 2006, is a member of Westboro Baptist Church, a group whose right to protest at funerals of American soldiers killed in combat carrying signs such as "Thank God for Dead Soldiers" and "Priests Rape Boys'' was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2011. (Associated Press)

    Supreme Court upholds protests at military funerals as free speech

    The Supreme Court ruled decisively Wednesday that a fringe anti-gay group has a constitutionally protected right to stage hateful protests at the funerals of dead soldiers, saying "such speech cannot be restricted simply because it is upsetting or arouses contempt."

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