Mar 2, 2011
Supreme Court Wimps out; 8-1 against Albert Snyder
In an egregious decision that runs against common sense and common decency, the Supreme Court today ruled 8-1 that the Westboro Baptist Church's ignorant displays at the funerals of KIA Marines and soldiers are protected by the 1st Amendment's Freedom of Speech.
Below is a statement by Albert Snyder's attorney, Craig Trebilcock:
We're disappointed in the ruling by the Supreme Court because it leaves grieving military families without meaningful recourse under the law when they are targeted for abuse by the Westboro Baptist Church. We fought the good fight to try to protect those who give their children to the nation and who pay the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf in defense of the nation. This phase of that effort has not ended successfully.
The court did not address the key issue in the case of whether the assaults upon the Snyder family through the internet can be a basis for liabiltiy. They have left that battle for another day. Accordingly, if the Westboro Baptist Church continues their internet based attacks on grieving military families I will look forward to that issue being fully litigated before the courts.
The court was faced with a very tough issue in this case of weghing the claimed First Amendment rights of the Phelps clan against the rights of the Snyder family to peacefully assemble and bid farewell to Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder without abuse and intimidation. The court sided with the Phelps clan and we must now accept that as the rule of law in the United States. It is my sincere hope in light of this decision that states will take the appropriate action through legislation to protect military families through strong time, place, manner laws that the court mentioned can be enacted, to keep these people away from destroying the sanctity of military funerals.
This family clan has used the laws that our troops fight to preserve in a perverse manner that inflicts hate and abuse upon those who are at their most vulnerable during the loss of a loved one. During this dark our it is important to remember that the opverwhelming majority of patriotic americans recognize and honor the sacrifice of our military personnel and their families. God bless our troops and their families.
Shumaker Williams, PC
Fax 717 848-5125
1 East Market Street
York, PA 17401