So I happened across this article today regarding the media's intense desire for the Supreme Court to come down on the side of Fred Phelps in the case of Snyder v. Phelps.
This is disgusting. First off the Westboro nutballs are just a group of opportunistic charlatans who are using soldier's funerals as a way to gin up press because its controversial place to protest. It's harassment, bottom line. If you recall, when this first went to trial Snyder won a huge (about $10 million) judgment against the Westboro's, which was then later over turned on appeal. The court considered the protests to be protected speech, but honestly when they are leveled at a single private citizen (as in the case of Snyder's deceased son) in a public forum, does that still hold true? Furthermore these asses usually protest outside away from the funeral typically at the gates of the graveyard but does the fact that those attending the funeral are forced to go past them in order to attend their private event factor in at all? Shouldn't people be allowed some privacy as they are on the way to a private event?
The WBC also released a poem (which is an insult to poets every where) that denigrates the deceased soldier. Sadly because of its use of hyperbole they get away with hate and vitriol. In fact everything they do is meant to dance on the line of free speech. While I can see where the various news outlets and political leaders who are pulling for the WBC side of the case are coming from it still is no less disturbing to see them do it.
How about we make a compromise? The original judge awarded Snyder a huge cash settlement in the case. Why doesn't the supreme court find in favor of the defendant but uphold the original jury's decision and award Snyder the money? Say it's pain and suffering. It will effectively shut down the WBC and for at least a little while hinder Fred Phelp's ability make disgusting remarks at inappropriate places.