Supreme Court sides with Westboro

Supreme Court sides with Westboro - Supreme Court sides...

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Supreme Court sides with churchgoers who picketed military funeral The justices say members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas have the right to carry anti-gay and other signs at U.S. troops' funerals, however offensive their message may be considered. March 03, 2011 | By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau Reporting from Washington Ruling in a case that pressed the outer limits of free speech, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said that even anti-gay protesters who picketed the funerals of U.S. troops with signs reading, "Thank God for Dead Soldiers," cannot be sued. In an 8-1 decision, the justices upheld an appellate court's decision to strike down a jury verdict against Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan. Phelps and his family gained national attention and stirred deep anger for using military funerals as a backdrop to proclaim an anti-gay and anti- military message. The church believes that the United States is too tolerant of sin and that the death of American soldiers is God's punishment. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said that when the disputed words "address matters of public import on public property" and when the protest is conducted "in a peaceful manner, in full compliance with the guidance of local officials," they are protected. Roberts cited past rulings that shielded offensive words and outrageous protests.
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Supreme Court sides with Westboro - Supreme Court sides...

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