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Author: Subject: Fred Phelps Will Get His Day Before The Supreme Court

Zen Peach





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  posted on 3/9/2010 at 10:06 AM
quote:
Justices to hear case involving Fred Phelps' protests at military funerals
By DAVID KLEPPER
The Star’s Topeka correspondent

TOPEKA | The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a case involving Fred Phelps and his Topeka congregation, whose protests at military funerals have angered families across the country.

The court said it would consider an appeal from the father of a slain Marine who hopes to reinstate a $5 million verdict against the Topeka-based Westboro Baptist Church.

Albert Snyder of York, Pa., successfully sued the church in a Maryland federal court in 2007 arguing its funeral protest was an invasion of privacy that caused his family emotional distress.

But last fall an appeals court reversed the $5 million verdict, ruling the church’s protests were protected by the First Amendment. The Supreme Court will hear Snyder’s appeal this fall.

“It’s freedom of speech to some,” said Snyder, whose son Matthew was killed in Iraq. “To me it’s not what my son fought for. They’re kicking people in the face when they’re already down on the ground. All I was trying to do was bury my son.”

Westboro, an unaffiliated church with fewer than 100 members, went from local curiosity to national notoriety after it began protesting military funerals. Church members believe the deaths of military personnel — as well as tsunamis, Hurricane Katrina and the 2006 Amish school shooting — are God’s punishment for the tolerance of homosexuality.

It’s a theology summed up on their hand-painted protest signs: Thank God for 9/11; America is Doomed; and Thank God for Dead Troops.

Shirley Phelps-Roper, a church leader and daughter of Westboro founder Fred Phelps, said her sister Margie Phelps is likely to argue the church’s case before the Supreme Court. Shirley Phelps-Roper and Margie Phelps are licensed attorneys.

Phelps-Roper said it’s God’s will that the church gets to appear before the nation’s highest court. Regardless of the ruling, she said it’s a “win-win” for the publicity-hungry church.

“You know how hard we’ve worked to get in front of them?” she said. “We came to the kingdom for this hour.”

For constitutional law scholars, the case promises fireworks. Funeral protests pose unique legal questions, and the ruling could have implications for the many state laws passed to curb Westboro’s actions, said Richard Levy, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Kansas.

“This is a hot area of First Amendment law,” Levy said. “There are a lot of issues swirling around this type of case, and the court may feel it should step in and clarify the law.”

The case also may not fall along the court’s traditional fault lines, Levy predicted. “I don’t know what the conservative or liberal position is on a case like this,” he said.

Snyder said he had never heard of Westboro Baptist Church before it announced plans to protest his son’s funeral in Westminster, Md.

The day of the funeral, Snyder was forced to enter the church’s service entrance to avoid protesters. Not knowing what to expect from the Kansas congregation, local police set up a mobile command post and deployed a SWAT team, Snyder recalled.

Even though his mind was on his son, Snyder said he couldn’t ignore the protesters and their signs. One proclaimed that his son was “raised for the devil.”

“You don’t stand 30 feet from the entrance to a church with a sign depicting two men having anal intercourse,” Snyder said. “That wasn’t freedom of speech; it was harassment.”

Phelps-Roper, however, isn’t remorseful. Her church has protested similar funerals across the country for years.

Just last week, she was in Washington picketing a memorial service for the late U.S. Rep. John Murtha and protesting in front of the Supreme Court.

Westboro’s adherents argue that the First Amendment is designed to protect speech the majority may not want to hear. But Phelps-Roper is ambivalent, noting that man’s law won’t matter much when America meets divine wrath.

“Her destruction is imminent,” she said. Laughing, she added: “And it’s going to be marvelous.”

http://www.kansascity.com/2010/03/08/1799138/us-supreme-court-agrees-to-hea r.html




First Amendment or not, Westboro Baptist are made up of human slime.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/9/2010 at 10:22 AM
These folks are crazy, but I doubt hearing it from the SC will make any difference to them.

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 3/9/2010 at 10:24 AM
Albert Snyder (I think it was him) was interviewed on the news last night and his comment :

"Now when I think of my son's funeral, the protest is all I can think of...All I was trying to do was bury my son.”

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/9/2010 at 10:28 AM
If they keep this up, it wouldn't surprise me if it doesn't turn violent at some point. If I was trying to bury a child who was killed in a war, and those assh*les showed up, I'm not sure how well I'd be able to restrain myself. One gun would rock their world in just a few short seconds.

 

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Peach Extraordinaire



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  posted on 3/9/2010 at 10:33 AM
I do support water boarding Fred Phelps.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/9/2010 at 10:37 AM
quote:
These folks are crazy, but I doubt hearing it from the SC will make any difference to them.


I'm pretty convinced the SCOTUS will uphold Westboro Baptists' First Amendment rights.

This is a very interesting case and will be a very telling test for the Bush court. It doesn't fall neatly into left vs. right lines and contains a ton of contentious issues, gays, patriotism, First Amendment rights, etc.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/9/2010 at 10:55 AM
I tend to believe the court will uphold their right to free speech, too, as despicable as their speech is. If that happens, it will certainly embolden them, and violence will be the next step. Hard to shout through a jaw wired shut.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/9/2010 at 10:55 AM
quote:
I do support water boarding Fred Phelps.


I second.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/9/2010 at 11:10 AM
quote:
quote:
I do support water boarding Fred Phelps.


I second.


I say just drown the f*cker.

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 3/9/2010 at 12:07 PM
quote:
I tend to believe the court will uphold their right to free speech, too, as despicable as their speech is. If that happens, it will certainly embolden them, and violence will be the next step. Hard to shout through a jaw wired shut.


I hope they try this and some of the deceased's comrades in arms vent their frustration and grief on these scumbags. A good old fashioned ass whipping might make them reconsider exercising their rights.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/9/2010 at 12:33 PM
I'm sure that this right to free speech will be up held...but not without a tongue lashing from every member on the court directed at this congregation.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/9/2010 at 12:51 PM
If the SC upholds the free speech theory, I'm wondering if it's possible to enact laws that create a barrier around cemeteries and churches beyond which protesters can't pass to protect the family of the fallen. If not, I vote for the broken jaws and bullets solution.

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 3/9/2010 at 01:11 PM
From what I saw on the news last night, many, many states are already enacting laws to protect funerals from this sort of thing.

Also, the footage they had of these people at funerals, they were in a cordoned off area off to the side, holding their signs...so some barrier exists...I doubt it makes the family at the funeral feel any better.

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 3/9/2010 at 07:05 PM
These scum don't care whether "barrier" laws are enacted or not because they want and get attention. Passing laws to restrict them is a victory to them. So are fights and threats of violence. They're proud to be in court, claiming it as a chance to "witness" to the highest places. I don't know what the answer is, but I would help any family who thinks that the Westboro jihadis should at least hear Taps being played. At close range. At about 145db. C weighted.
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/9/2010 at 07:48 PM
quote:
quote:
I tend to believe the court will uphold their right to free speech, too, as despicable as their speech is. If that happens, it will certainly embolden them, and violence will be the next step. Hard to shout through a jaw wired shut.


I hope they try this and some of the deceased's comrades in arms vent their frustration and grief on these scumbags. A good old fashioned ass whipping might make them reconsider exercising their rights.
WORD

 

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Peach Bud



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  posted on 3/9/2010 at 08:10 PM
http://www.patriotguard.org/
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/9/2010 at 08:28 PM
If I rode a bike....of any kind....I'd darn sure join! Good for them all!

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 3/9/2010 at 09:01 PM
quote:
If the SC upholds the free speech theory, I'm wondering if it's possible to enact laws that create a barrier around cemeteries and churches beyond which protesters can't pass to protect the family of the fallen. If not, I vote for the broken jaws and bullets solution.


Iowa passed a law because of these f*****s. Something along the lines of a couple hundred yards, which still isn't good enough. They shouldn't be allowed in the same county as the funeral. IMO

 

Peach Extraordinaire



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  posted on 3/9/2010 at 09:07 PM
If I lived anywhere near this church or its followers, I'd be protesting in front of it every Sunday by blasting some kind of Satanic Death Metal at full volume while they are holding services. You know, expressing my First Amendment Rights. And if it isn't Sunday, I'd be sure to find their house so they can enjoy some music with their dinner, and lunch, and breakfast.
 

World Class Peach



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  posted on 3/11/2010 at 09:51 AM
quote:
quote:
These folks are crazy, but I doubt hearing it from the SC will make any difference to them.


I'm pretty convinced the SCOTUS will uphold Westboro Baptists' First Amendment rights.

This is a very interesting case and will be a very telling test for the Bush court. It doesn't fall neatly into left vs. right lines and contains a ton of contentious issues, gays, patriotism, First Amendment rights, etc.


As long as the SC upholds my right to "freedom of expression" while using a railroad spiked baseball bat.
If they uphold that flag burning and displaying a crucifix in urine is "freedom of expression" then I see no problem in my choice of conveyance in freeing my expression.

 

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World Class Peach



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  posted on 3/11/2010 at 10:58 AM
PS:

Westboro Baptist Church
3701 SouthWest 12th Street
Topeka, KS.

785-273-0325

Help the US Postal Service out of a bind and send these folks a letter with your comments on how you feel about their means of protest.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/11/2010 at 11:14 AM
quote:
quote:
quote:
These folks are crazy, but I doubt hearing it from the SC will make any difference to them.


I'm pretty convinced the SCOTUS will uphold Westboro Baptists' First Amendment rights.

This is a very interesting case and will be a very telling test for the Bush court. It doesn't fall neatly into left vs. right lines and contains a ton of contentious issues, gays, patriotism, First Amendment rights, etc.


As long as the SC upholds my right to "freedom of expression" while using a railroad spiked baseball bat.
If they uphold that flag burning and displaying a crucifix in urine is "freedom of expression" then I see no problem in my choice of conveyance in freeing my expression.


LOL...yes, well, use of that bat would be assault...a whole 'nother legal category...

 

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World Class Peach



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  posted on 3/11/2010 at 11:26 AM
quote:
quote:
quote:
quote:
These folks are crazy, but I doubt hearing it from the SC will make any difference to them.


I'm pretty convinced the SCOTUS will uphold Westboro Baptists' First Amendment rights.

This is a very interesting case and will be a very telling test for the Bush court. It doesn't fall neatly into left vs. right lines and contains a ton of contentious issues, gays, patriotism, First Amendment rights, etc.


As long as the SC upholds my right to "freedom of expression" while using a railroad spiked baseball bat.
If they uphold that flag burning and displaying a crucifix in urine is "freedom of expression" then I see no problem in my choice of conveyance in freeing my expression.


LOL...yes, well, use of that bat would be assault...a whole 'nother legal category...


Not really. I could claim that my religion requires me to defend to the death those who cannot defend themselves because they died defending my rights to express myself.
I could stand up in court and say "God told me that Phelps is wrong and to do what it took to make him open minded. So I opened up his mind with a railroad spiked baseball bat."

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/11/2010 at 11:35 AM
In a perfect world we could organize a large group of people to show up in Topeka and picke the Church and disrupt any funerals they might conduct. Personally I'd like to hand what they're dishing out right back to them and see how they like it.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/11/2010 at 11:39 AM
One thing to remember too about the Phelps clan. His sons and daughters and assorted offspring...they're all attorneys. He sent them all to law school. It's a big reason they have won the legal battles they have won over the years.

quote:
Westboro Baptist Church
3701 SouthWest 12th Street
Topeka, KS.


Driven by there many times (I'm originally from Topeka), always makes my skin crawl. They've used their legal abailities to intimidate pretty much anyone in Topeka that has issue with them. They are a civic blight that everyone hates and everyone hates the image they bring, but no one can really do anything about it.

If anyone wants to fly into KC I'll drive them to Topeka...only an hour drive on I-70...

 

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