Supreme Court Justice, Samuel Alito and I don't usually share the same point of view, but yesterday I think he was right on the money with his lone dissent in the case of Snyder vs.Phelps in which the Court ruled that the Westboro Baptist Church,(which is neither Baptist nor a church, but rather is the crazy family cult of Topeka based self proclaimed pastor Fred Phelps and his extended family) was totally within its rights to picket the funerals of dead American soldiers, spewing their verbal and sandwich-board filth at mourners,
Basically, the majority opinion of the Supreme Court, was that the First Amendment gave the anti-gay, anti- American, anti-Catholic cult the right to picket and demonstrate outside a Catholic church during the funeral for Albert Snyder's 20 year old son, a United States Marine killed in action. Snyder contended that his and his family's civil rights were being violated at a private and emotionally vulnerable moment by the disruption of the funeral.
I am astounded that Judge Alito is the only one of the nine Supreme Court Justices who agreed. Here's a bit of what he said:
"Our profound national commitment to free and open debate is not a license for the vicious verbal assault that occurred in this case."He called the 2006 demonstration outside the Snyder funeral
"a malevolent verbal attack on Matthew and his family at a time of acute emotional vulnerability."I agree. Free speech does not give you the right to yell " fire" in a crowded theater. This ruling may be technically defensible but it is morally wrong. It encourages violent reprisals and I believe there will be some. Several states have already passed laws forbidding the picketing of funerals and local bikers have escorted the Westboro crowd out of town before they could do any damage on more than one occasion. In Oklahoma the tires on their van were slashed and who knows what will happen as their hateful protests escalate in the coming months.