The United States Supreme Court ruled 8-1 yesterday that picketing and protesting at Military funerals is deemed free speech in the well publicized case of Snyder v. Phelps.
According to the opinion published, their picketing signs were protected under the First Amendment citing that it was of public not private concern, “The “content” of Westboro’s signs plainly relates to public, rather than private, matters. The placards highlighted issues of public import—the political and moral conduct of the United States and its citizens, the fate of the Nation, homosexuality in the military, and scandals involving the Catholic clergy—and Westboro conveyed its views on those issues in a manner designed to reach as broad a public audience as possible. Even if a few of the signs were viewed as containing messages related to a particular individual, that would not change the fact that the dominant theme of Westboro’s demonstration spoke to broader public issues”.
Also according to the opinion published, Westboro Baptist Church has been picketing at Military funerals for the past 20 years! Yes you read that right, 20 years!
After the ruling came down, Al Snyder (responding to a question asked by Katie Couric of what he would say to other grieving families) said, “Well there’s not much we can do about it anymore. When the government won’t do anything about it, and the courts give us no remedy, then people are going to start taking matters into their own hands. And believe me someone is going to get hurt. And when the blood starts flowing, let it be on the Supreme Court Justices’ hands”.
Westboro Baptist Church plans to quadruple their protests due to the recent ruling.
It may now be OK to protest at Military funerals, but that does not mean it is right. I urge all true red blooded patriots to rise up and put this “Church” in their place. No where does it state that you cannot make even bigger signs (think King Size sheet big) that say Support Our Troops, stand in front of the protesters to hide their signs; so we as a country can remind the grieving family that AMERICA still supports them!