Thursday, March 3, 2011

"Protests at Military Funerals Are Protected Speech, Justices Rule

The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that protests and picketing at military funerals are protected by the First Amendment's free-speech guarantee, taking precedence over the mourners' right to privacy.

The court decided 8-1 to uphold a lower court decision in favor of members of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., who frequently stage protests at private military funerals to promote the church's claim that God is angry at America for its tolerance of homosexuality, with signs bearing messages like "Thank God for Dead Soldiers," "You're Going to Hell" and "God Hates the USA."

The ruling was a defeat for Albert Snyder, the father of a Marine killed in Iraq in 2006, whose funeral at a Catholic church in Westminster, Md., was picketed by the Westboro group."


This horribly misguided decision by no less than 8 of 9 U.S. Supreme Court “justices” is so utterly appalling that it leaves one speechless. It is nearly impossible to imagine the devastating effect that this abomination will have on the family of this heroic young U.S. Marine who paid the supreme sacrifice in the service of our country. It is inconceivable to me and I am sure to thousands upon thousands of decent American citizens who believe that there positively are limits to the right to “free speech”, how the 8 people who made this horrible decision can look in the mirror this morning. They have brought shame upon the highest court in the land and, I believe, to the original intent of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. May God Bless the family of this true American hero and all men and women who have answered the call to honorably serve our country.

Jack Meehan, Past National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians in America

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