Wednesday, March 02, 2011


Victory for Liberty in Snyder v. Phelps

More than three years ago, in "God Bless Fred Phelps," I wrote: "When the government permits a private action and enforces a judgment against Phelps for invasion of privacy and emotional distress as they did this year in Snyder v. Phelps then everyone who is not a sheep needs to look out." It was heartening therefore to read the following in the 8-1 Supreme Court slip opinion (PDF):
Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, movethem to tears of both joy and sorrow, and—as it did here—inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker. As a Nation we have chosen a different course—to protect even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stiflepublic debate. That choice requires that we shield Westboro [Baptist Church] from tort liability for its picketing in this case.
See also: "High court hands 1st Amendment win to funeral picketers"--analysis at

Labels: , ,

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?