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alnorth
03-02-2011, 08:43 AM
The Supreme Court has just ruled in an 8-1 decision that if you protest at a funeral, you are immune to lawsuits from the family for inflicting emotional distress.

"Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them 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,"

The Chief Justice wrote the opinion. The dissent was written by Alito.

From Alito's lone dissent:

"Our profound national commitment to free and open debate is not a license for the vicious verbal assault that occurred in this case,"

No one disputed that you have a right to protest at a funeral (ie, you cant be thrown into jail or barred by the government), the question was whether you could be sued if your protest emotionally damages your target at a funeral.

The $5 million judgment against the Phelps clan has been thrown out, and now the father of the dead marine who originally sued has to pay the Phelps' legal bills.

edit: oh, also for the legal nerds out there, that windbag justice Breyer apparently wasn't satisfied with simply signing onto the majority opinion, he wrote his own concurring opinion.

Ebolapox
03-02-2011, 08:44 AM
would someone just fucking kill those assholes already?

kepp
03-02-2011, 08:45 AM
Ridiculous. Free speech shouldn't mean that you're free of consequences for that speech.

alnorth
03-02-2011, 08:52 AM
(Before someone asks, yes normally this sort of thing should go to D.C. with the rest of the legal junk, but I figured this was a big enough deal to post to the lounge, since there was a big discussion in the lounge after the oral arguments)

Dante84
03-02-2011, 08:55 AM
So screaming "Fire" in a crowded mall should also be legal now.

Buehler445
03-02-2011, 08:58 AM
Ridiculous. Free speech shouldn't mean that you're free of consequences for that speech.

Pretty much all there is too it. I shouldn't call your mother a whore and not expect a broken nose from it.

Cave Johnson
03-02-2011, 09:01 AM
Pretty much all there is too it. I shouldn't call your mother a whore and not expect a broken nose from it.

Your mom's a whore. ;)

kepp
03-02-2011, 09:02 AM
Your mom's a whore. ;)

Sh!t just got real

Valiant
03-02-2011, 09:03 AM
The Supreme Court has just ruled in an 8-1 decision that if you protest at a funeral, you are immune to lawsuits from the family for inflicting emotional distress.



The Chief Justice wrote the opinion. The dissent was written by Alito.

No one disputed that you have a right to protest at a funeral (ie, you cant be thrown into jail or barred by the government), the question was whether you could be sued if your protest emotionally damages your target at a funeral.

The $5 million judgment against the Phelps clan has been thrown out, and now the father of the dead marine who originally sued has to pay the Phelps' legal bills.

edit: oh, also for the legal nerds out there, that windbag justice Breyer apparently wasn't satisfied with simply signing onto the majority opinion, he wrote his own concurring opinion.

Makes no sense. What is the difference in harassment there at funerals and harassment online and verbally bullying. It is not free speech, it is hatred used to cause distress.

ClevelandBronco
03-02-2011, 09:06 AM
You don't get to bitch about this if you're one of those assholes that prattles on endlessly about the erosion of Constitutional rights.

Good decision.

Frazod
03-02-2011, 09:08 AM
would someone just fucking kill those assholes already?

Which ones - the Westboro assholes, or the Supreme Court assholes?

DBOSHO
03-02-2011, 09:09 AM
Are you immune to getting your ass beat by 100 grieving family
Members?

Brock
03-02-2011, 09:10 AM
You don't get to bitch about this if you're one of those assholes that prattles on endlessly about the erosion of Constitutional rights.

Good decision.

Reluctantly, this.

Rudy lost the toss
03-02-2011, 09:12 AM
So when will I be able to tell nancy that her tits look great?

ReynardMuldrake
03-02-2011, 09:12 AM
It's the right decision. The Phelpses would do far more damage criminalizing speech then they could with a thousand protests. Let those windbags say whatever they want.

loochy
03-02-2011, 09:15 AM
Which ones - the Westboro assholes, or the Supreme Court assholes?

Yes.

Saulbadguy
03-02-2011, 09:18 AM
You don't get to bitch about this if you're one of those assholes that prattles on endlessly about the erosion of Constitutional rights.

Good decision.

This.

Cave Johnson
03-02-2011, 09:19 AM
Reading just the syllabus of the decision, the court made the right call. Allowing emotional distress for speech that is purely public in nature (c.f., your mom is a whore), no matter how disagreeable, expands the tort into a protected area of discourse.

Pestilence
03-02-2011, 09:19 AM
So screaming "Fire" in a crowded mall should also be legal now.

Ummm.....how is that the same?

Deberg_1990
03-02-2011, 09:20 AM
I saw we all protest the funeral of Chief Justice John Roberts when it happens.

Frazod
03-02-2011, 09:20 AM
There have to be reasonable boundaries to all things. Do you really think Madison had shit like this in mind when he proposed the Bill of Rights? Abusing grieving family members in the name of some twisted extremist agenda? It's revolting and indefensible.

Saulbadguy
03-02-2011, 09:21 AM
There have to be reasonable boundaries to all things. Do you really think Madison had shit like this in mind when he proposed the Bill of Rights? Abusing grieving family members in the name of some twisted extremist agenda? It's revolting and indefensible.

Assault rifles?

:evil:

Saulbadguy
03-02-2011, 09:21 AM
So screaming "Fire" in a crowded mall should also be legal now.

:spock:

ClevelandBronco
03-02-2011, 09:22 AM
There have to be reasonable boundaries to all things. Do you really think Madison had shit like this in mind when he proposed the Bill of Rights? Abusing grieving family members in the name of some twisted extremist agenda? It's revolting and indefensible.

Pretty lopsided decision for a case without a defense.

Frazod
03-02-2011, 09:22 AM
Assault rifles?

:evil:

When the bad guys have them too? You bet.

Chiefnj2
03-02-2011, 09:23 AM
If at every single funeral that the inbreds protested, a family member were to attack them because of the mental distress, would the "free speech" have been classified as a "clear and present danger to the public" akin to "screaming fire in a theater"? Maybe more violence is needed.

Saulbadguy
03-02-2011, 09:24 AM
When the bad guys have them too? You bet.
Hey - anyone is allowed to picket a funeral. :thumb:

Frazod
03-02-2011, 09:24 AM
We need to send these fuckers to Skidmore. They know how to take care of business.

Valiant
03-02-2011, 09:26 AM
There have to be reasonable boundaries to all things. Do you really think Madison had shit like this in mind when he proposed the Bill of Rights? Abusing grieving family members in the name of some twisted extremist agenda? It's revolting and indefensible.

The mo. Woman who harassed the girl on myspace should be countersuing now with this ruling. Her harassing the girl is perfectly legal, they infringed on her right of free speech, she can say it is part of her religious beliefs for bonus.

beach tribe
03-02-2011, 09:32 AM
Anyone heard anything else about An#n's war against them?

Cave Johnson
03-02-2011, 09:33 AM
The mo. Woman who harassed the girl on myspace should be countersuing now with this ruling. Her harassing the girl is perfectly legal, they infringed on her right of free speech, she can say it is part of her religious beliefs for bonus.

Read the decision. They make a clear distinction between the special protection accorded public speech vs. purely private speech.

alnorth
03-02-2011, 09:35 AM
The mo. Woman who harassed the girl on myspace should be countersuing now with this ruling. Her harassing the girl is perfectly legal, they infringed on her right of free speech, she can say it is part of her religious beliefs for bonus.

It would seem that we all have a constitutional right to troll with impunity. Your feelings are hurt? Feeling suicidal? Grow a pair and get a thicker skin.

Valiant
03-02-2011, 09:36 AM
Read the decision. They make a clear distinction between the special protection accorded public speech vs. purely private speech.

A social network is private?

alnorth
03-02-2011, 09:38 AM
Read the decision. They make a clear distinction between the special protection accorded public speech vs. purely private speech.

That is a silly distinction. Assuming you are careful to avoid libel and slander, you can try to intentionally harm someone emotionally with speech without fear of the consequences (eg they kill themselves) as long as you make sure everyone can see and hear you?

In the context of this decision, why should private speech not enjoy the same protection from lawsuits?

kepp
03-02-2011, 09:39 AM
Reading just the syllabus of the decision, the court made the right call. Allowing emotional distress for speech that is purely public in nature (c.f., your mom is a whore), no matter how disagreeable, expands the tort into a protected area of discourse.

See, you're just fancy-talking and I don't buy it! :p

Iowanian
03-02-2011, 09:39 AM
I just hope the court eventually remembers the words "justifiable homicide" when some grieving family member flips out and sends them all to hell.

Valiant
03-02-2011, 09:41 AM
It would seem that we all have a constitutional right to troll with impunity. Your feelings are hurt? Feeling suicidal? Grow a pair and get a thicker skin.

No I am saying a ton of smaller court rulings need/ are going to be overturned imo

Personally I would just pay a bunch of kids to fill ballons with paint and give them waterballon launchers. You know the ones with 300 yard range. Tell them to fire as many as possible and then run and hide.

Pants
03-02-2011, 09:42 AM
Reading just the syllabus of the decision, the court made the right call. Allowing emotional distress for speech that is purely public in nature (c.f., your mom is a whore), no matter how disagreeable, expands the tort into a protected area of discourse.

Tortes are tasty.

alnorth
03-02-2011, 09:42 AM
No I am saying a ton of smaller court rulings need/ are going to be overturned.

I know. If I wasn't clear, I agreed with your post.

ClevelandBronco
03-02-2011, 09:43 AM
I just hope the court eventually remembers the words "justifiable homicide" when some grieving family member flips out and sends them all to hell.

Yeah, well, I think they just sent a crystal clear message that it quite literally would not be justified.

Cave Johnson
03-02-2011, 09:44 AM
That is a silly distinction. Assuming you are careful to avoid libel and slander, you can try to intentionally harm someone emotionally with speech without fear of the consequences (eg they kill themselves) as long as you make sure everyone can see and hear you?

In the context of this decision, why should private speech not enjoy the same protection from lawsuits?

It wasn't that the forum was public, the subject matter was (arguably).

Iowanian
03-02-2011, 09:45 AM
Yeah, well, I think they just sent a crystal clear message that it quite literally would not be justified.

Then I hope the person who eventually decides to smash these assholes is very near the end with a terminal disease.

ClevelandBronco
03-02-2011, 09:48 AM
Then I hope the person who eventually decides to smash these assholes is very near the end with a terminal disease.

Put it on your bucket list.

chiefsnorth
03-02-2011, 09:49 AM
It's the right decision. The Phelpses would do far more damage criminalizing speech then they could with a thousand protests. Let those windbags say whatever they want.

Agree. I think this is the right decision. This tiny cult will die off, but damage to the 1st amendment would last forever.

Valiant
03-02-2011, 09:55 AM
I have wondered. I do not know much about restraining orders and their effect on public land. But could local businesses and cemetaries get them against the group, to where it would block them even further away from demonstrating?

Just a random thought.

Pitt Gorilla
03-02-2011, 09:56 AM
We need to send these ****ers to Skidmore. They know how to take care of business.I've long claimed they wouldn't survive if they lived in Missouri.

Bambi
03-02-2011, 09:59 AM
Inspired by the homophobic beating and murder of Matthew Shepard these Angels of Peace have been a very effective method of blocking the Phelps group from grieving family members at funerals.

Most recently they participated in lining the streets of the funeral for Christina-Taylor Green in Arizona.

http://cdn2-b.examiner.com/sites/default/files/styles/image_full_width/hash/e8/96/19_216.jpg

ClevelandBronco
03-02-2011, 10:01 AM
Inspired by the homophobic beating and murder of Matthew Shepard these Angels of Peace have been a very effective method of blocking the Phelps group from grieving family members at funerals.

Most recently they participated in lining the streets of the funeral for Christina-Taylor Green in Arizona.

http://cdn2-b.examiner.com/sites/default/files/styles/image_full_width/hash/e8/96/19_216.jpg

So effective, it would appear, that you can't even see the Phelps group in that photo.

Chiefnj2
03-02-2011, 10:02 AM
Agree. I think this is the right decision. This tiny cult will die off, but damage to the 1st amendment would last forever.

What damage would there be to enact a law that says "no public demonstration aimed at a funeral within 1 square mile of the funeral home and/or cemetery"?

kepp
03-02-2011, 10:03 AM
Inspired by the homophobic beating and murder of Matthew Shepard these Angels of Peace have been a very effective method of blocking the Phelps group from grieving family members at funerals.

Most recently they participated in lining the streets of the funeral for Christina-Taylor Green in Arizona.

http://cdn2-b.examiner.com/sites/default/files/styles/image_full_width/hash/e8/96/19_216.jpg

That's great, but they better watch out that a windy day doesn't drape some of those angel wings over their heads like little, pointy hats.

Bambi
03-02-2011, 10:04 AM
So effective, it would appear, that you can't even see the Phelps group in that photo.

I guess you're trying to make a joke.

The two groups have had quite a few run ins.

http://www.inkstain.net/fleck/snaps/20050423wings2.jpg

Bambi
03-02-2011, 10:06 AM
What damage would there be to enact a law that says "no public demonstration aimed at a funeral within 1 square mile of the funeral home and/or cemetery"?

http://abcnews.go.com/US/arizona-angels-lawmakers-stop-westboro-protesters-christina-taylor/story?id=12599263

Donger
03-02-2011, 10:07 AM
You know, sometimes fires just start spontaneously.

ClevelandBronco
03-02-2011, 10:08 AM
I guess you're trying to make a joke.

The two groups have had quite a few run ins.

http://www.inkstain.net/fleck/snaps/20050423wings2.jpg

They need taller wings.

Dick Bull
03-02-2011, 10:09 AM
Ridiculous. Free speech shouldn't mean that you're free of consequences for that speech.


Truth is they are just stating their opinions and religious beliefs; no matter how deplorable it may be.

Donger
03-02-2011, 10:14 AM
Truth is they are just stating their opinions and religious beliefs; no matter how deplorable it may be.

What if I start a religion and the basic premise of Dongerism is that all Black people are stupid and part devil?

(The above is just an example. I don't think Black people are stupid)

Brock
03-02-2011, 10:16 AM
What if I start a religion and the basic premise of Dongerism is that all Black people are stupid and part devil?

(The above is just an example. I don't think Black people are stupid)

pretty sure it's already been done.

Donger
03-02-2011, 10:17 AM
pretty sure it's already been done.

Well, I imagine that that would fall under "hate speech," right?

If what Phelps' group does doesn't qualify as hate speech, I don't know what should.

Brock
03-02-2011, 10:18 AM
Well, I imagine that that would fall under "hate speech," right?

If what Phelps' group does doesn't qualify as hate speech, I don't know what should.

What is the legal definition of hate speech?

ClevelandBronco
03-02-2011, 10:18 AM
What if I start a religion and the basic premise of Dongerism is that all Black people are stupid and part devil?

You're talking specifically about Obama, aren't you?

BCD
03-02-2011, 10:21 AM
A funeral family member is going to have take matters into their own hands.

BCD
03-02-2011, 10:24 AM
If someone flips out and kills a few of these nutjobs, the nation would cheer and I bet it would be tough to prosecute.

Deberg_1990
03-02-2011, 10:29 AM
I wonder if anyone has ever shown up at a Phelps family funeral to protest?

BCD
03-02-2011, 10:32 AM
I wonder if anyone has ever shown up at a Phelps family funeral to protest?You KNOW someone will when one occurs. Karma's a fucking bitch.

BucEyedPea
03-02-2011, 10:33 AM
The decision is right. I think there should be a donation drive for the dead Marine's dad even if his lawyers mislead him. There's always a lawyer trying to make a buck.

InChiefsHell
03-02-2011, 10:33 AM
The KKK is allowed to march. People are allowed to protest abortion clinics, some carrying signs that are truly sickening (I'm pro-life, by the way), people are allowed to gather and have caricatures of the president of the US looking like Hitler or a monkey...these things all serve to rile people up and are certainly hateful and hurtful...the law cannot see a difference here. Are Phelp's people sick and disgusting? Yes. But in America, you don't have the right not to be offended.

In Omaha recently, they were here to protest my niece's Catholic school...but the city would not give them a permit inside of quite a few blocks of the school, so it was basically ineffective. I think cities probably do whatever they can to keep these bastards as far away as possible, but in the end, the have a constitutional right to be assholes. Best thing to do is ignore them.

...but if I was a family member, I'm absolutely positive that I'd want to do...something...about it. Basically, they are exploiting an unintended consequence to free speech. There's always some asshole who tries to screw it up for everyone else...

dirk digler
03-02-2011, 10:38 AM
Emotionally I totally disagree with this but I believe it probably was the right one.

I am disappointed though that the court didn't throw out the lower court's ruling on compensating the Phelp's attorney fees. That is the least they could have done. This wasn't a frivolous lawsuit by any means.

Bowser
03-02-2011, 10:39 AM
Anyone heard anything else about An#n's war against them?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/digitaltrends/20110224/tc_digitaltrends/anonymousseizeswestborobaptistsdomainduringlivetvconfrontation

Frazod
03-02-2011, 10:57 AM
The KKK is allowed to march. People are allowed to protest abortion clinics, some carrying signs that are truly sickening (I'm pro-life, by the way), people are allowed to gather and have caricatures of the president of the US looking like Hitler or a monkey...these things all serve to rile people up and are certainly hateful and hurtful...the law cannot see a difference here. Are Phelp's people sick and disgusting? Yes. But in America, you don't have the right not to be offended.

In Omaha recently, they were here to protest my niece's Catholic school...but the city would not give them a permit inside of quite a few blocks of the school, so it was basically ineffective. I think cities probably do whatever they can to keep these bastards as far away as possible, but in the end, the have a constitutional right to be assholes. Best thing to do is ignore them.

...but if I was a family member, I'm absolutely positive that I'd want to do...something...about it. Basically, they are exploiting an unintended consequence to free speech. There's always some asshole who tries to screw it up for everyone else...

There's a time and a place for everything. I don't agree with anything extremist anti-abortion lunatics do, but if they're going to protest with their giant bloody dead fetus signs, I guess the sidewalk in front of an abortion clinic is the right place to do it. But when they do it on a summer day in the middle of the Chicago Loop, I have a great big goddamn problem with it. Seriously - beautiful summer day, thousands of people walking by, including families with children - why the fuck should they be subjected to this shit? What percentage of the people walking past are pregnant women contemplating abortion - I doubt if it's even 1%.

People protesting shit at the expense of those who have NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT THEY'RE PROTESTING suck. Whether it's the Phelps assholes at the funeral of a fallen soldier, or these dead fetus sign sporting fucks in Chicago, or a bunch of wheelchair assholes protesting lack of handicapped access by blocking the food court of an ADA compliant building (another personal favorite).

Seriously, fuck these people.

siberian khatru
03-02-2011, 11:01 AM
I wonder if anyone has ever shown up at a Phelps family funeral to protest?

We should create one and find out.

ReynardMuldrake
03-02-2011, 11:01 AM
What damage would there be to enact a law that says "no public demonstration aimed at a funeral within 1 square mile of the funeral home and/or cemetery"?

That's not what the court was ruling on.

jAZ
03-02-2011, 11:19 AM
There is a lot of speech that I hate. These protests being one of them. But banning it is ridiculous. Allowing protesters to be sued for emotional distress is ridiculous. Since campaign spending is "speech" too, then maybe I can sue the Koch Brothers for emotional distress.

Mr. Laz
03-02-2011, 11:29 AM
dam courts are so intent on justice being blind that they don't use common sense.

Bambi
03-02-2011, 11:33 AM
There is a lot of speech that I hate. These protests being one of them. But banning it is ridiculous. Allowing protesters to be sued for emotional distress is ridiculous. Since campaign spending is "speech" too, then maybe I can sue the Koch Brothers for emotional distress.

Yeah I'm not sure what the uproar is here.

Obviously the Supreme Court was going to rule this way. Sure most of them are pretty right leaning nowadays but they still maintain the "common sense" of free speech.

alnorth
03-02-2011, 11:37 AM
From Alito's lone dissent:

"Our profound national commitment to free and open debate is not a license for the vicious verbal assault that occurred in this case,"

Mr. Laz
03-02-2011, 11:38 AM
Yeah I'm not sure what the uproar is here.

Obviously the Supreme Court was going to rule this way. Sure most of them are pretty right leaning nowadays but they still maintain the "common sense" of free speech.
most bullying and racial slurs are "just" free speech too

shouting fire in a crowded movie theater is just free speech

online hate stalking is just free speech


courts are pretty dam selective with free speech when it suits them imo

ElGringo
03-02-2011, 11:43 AM
I have not really kept up with this, but one question came to mind with all this (well, more than one, but haven't seen this asked). Has anyone patrolled the language used at these protests? I am sure at many of these funerals there are children under 18, and if obscenity is used at the protest (which I believe faggot as used to gay people has been claimed as obscene) couldn't they sue the group for that (i.e. suing the networks for allowing obscenity on the air because children can and do watch)?

jAZ
03-02-2011, 11:54 AM
From Alito's lone dissent:

"Our profound national commitment to free and open debate is not a license for the vicious verbal assault that occurred in this case,"

Either Alito was picked on as a kid or he's never visited the internets.

jAZ
03-02-2011, 11:57 AM
most bullying and racial slurs are "just" free speech too

shouting fire in a crowded movie theater is just free speech

online hate stalking is just free speech


courts are pretty dam selective with free speech when it suits them imo

These people aren't stalking anyone. They are (amazingly peacefully) protesting a wide range of events.

Donger
03-02-2011, 12:05 PM
Does anyone know how they are funded?

dirk digler
03-02-2011, 12:10 PM
Does anyone know how they are funded?

Probably lawsuits and donations.

BCD
03-02-2011, 12:10 PM
Does anyone know how they are funded?
Probably by other hate groups. KKK, Aryan Nation, etc.

Bowser
03-02-2011, 12:15 PM
Does anyone know how they are funded?

I believe the entire family is comprised of lawyers, and I have no trouble thinking that there are groups upon groups of racist idiots that would use them as their representation.

Bambi
03-02-2011, 12:15 PM
These people aren't stalking anyone. They are (amazingly peacefully) protesting a wide range of events.

Correct. As fucked up as their ideology is they don't really have a history of physical violence.

The courts will let you say nearly anything as long as you don't act on it.

Slainte
03-02-2011, 12:16 PM
I'm guessing he gets some donations from sympathetic church-members. Aren't most of his children practicing lawyers? That must bring in a dollar or two...

Donger
03-02-2011, 12:16 PM
I believe the entire family is comprised of lawyers, and I have no trouble thinking that there are groups upon groups of racist idiots that would use them as their representation.

They are lawyers, too? Well, that makes me despise them even more.

Rausch
03-02-2011, 12:21 PM
Inspired by the homophobic beating and murder of Matthew Shepard these Angels of Peace have been a very effective method of blocking the Phelps group from grieving family members at funerals.

Most recently they participated in lining the streets of the funeral for Christina-Taylor Green in Arizona.

http://cdn2-b.examiner.com/sites/default/files/styles/image_full_width/hash/e8/96/19_216.jpg

Nice.

Honestly I'm glad the douche won. He deserves to be launched into a thorny burning AIDS tree, agreed, but free speech has been taking a beating lately.

The pheps people are widely outnumbered by those with common sense and decency...

chiefsnorth
03-02-2011, 12:35 PM
So effective, it would appear, that you can't even see the Phelps group in that photo.

Most people don't realize this but the whole group is like 10-15 people, on inbred family. I saw one of these pickets once and there were I think 3 of them. Maybe that wasn't representative, but they don't have a big footprint and are kept far away by police usually. In this case the soldier's dad sued after reading something they posted online, not about a picket IIRC

Rausch
03-02-2011, 12:37 PM
Most people don't realize this but the whole group is like 10-15 people, on inbred family.

I didn't know that but I, and I'm sure most, suspected it...

chiefsnorth
03-02-2011, 12:40 PM
I didn't know that but I, and I'm sure most, suspected it...

I only know what I read in the media but there was a detailed article I saw once that said basically it's two families that have intermarried. There were a lot of other facts like how they wear Kevlar, their "compound" is lined with cameras, and you can't just walk in and attend church or anything, it's private... I'll see if I can dig that article up later. I want to say th LA times or some other major paper had done it.

I saw them here protesting something odd, I don't remember what, a few years ago. I live downtown and happened to walk past in the morning so it piqued my interest.

BucEyedPea
03-02-2011, 12:46 PM
most bullying and racial slurs are "just" free speech too

shouting fire in a crowded movie theater is just free speech

online hate stalking is just free speech


courts are pretty dam selective with free speech when it suits them imo

Come on Laz. Stalking is not speech. Screaming fire when there is none is a false report that can cause people to panic for their lives, knocking people down and harming them physically. People omit the false part on this. And I might add what you get to yell in a crowd also depends on whose property you're on. No owner would want a stampede destroying their place due to a false threat.Our Framers were for protecting political speech. Slander and libel one can sue for if false and if there's damage. There is no protection from being distressed by a message in a protest—particularly a political one.

Slainte
03-02-2011, 01:01 PM
Rep, Honey....

Rausch
03-02-2011, 01:02 PM
Rep, Honey....

:spock:

ClevelandBronco
03-02-2011, 01:13 PM
Most people don't realize this...

Prove it.

dirk digler
03-02-2011, 01:14 PM
They are lawyers, too? Well, that makes me despise them even more.

Several members of their family is lawyers and some are disbarred lawyers.

kcfanXIII
03-02-2011, 01:14 PM
The right to free speech is too important to let these bigots take it from us. The end game is this; it is not up to the courts of men to decide their ultimate fate, and i sleep well at night knowing that their final judgment will never be overturned. They will burn in the fires of hatred that burn inside each and every one of them. Now if anyone wants to speed up the process I don't think anyone will argue.

dirk digler
03-02-2011, 01:18 PM
Most people don't realize this but the whole group is like 10-15 people, on inbred family. I saw one of these pickets once and there were I think 3 of them. Maybe that wasn't representative, but they don't have a big footprint and are kept far away by police usually. In this case the soldier's dad sued after reading something they posted online, not about a picket IIRC

They are larger than 10-15 people. There have about 70 members in their church

Just Passin' By
03-02-2011, 01:26 PM
Alito was an idiot for dissenting. This was one of the easiest cases those 9 clowns will ever get, and he blew it.

ClevelandBronco
03-02-2011, 01:27 PM
They are larger than 10-15 people. There have about 70 members in their church

Most chiefsnorths don't realize that.

chiefsnorth
03-02-2011, 01:38 PM
They are larger than 10-15 people. There have about 70 members in their church

I could be wrong. Feel free to look up whatever you read that was different. But the protests themselves which are mainly what I meant to talk about are not large, it's a handful of people who are kept far away and shielded off, thankfully. Like any of you I would laugh joyfully if a large bus lost its brakes and accidentally ran all of them down, but I think the chances their tiny protests actually end up being seen by any of the families are nil anymore.

Cave Johnson
03-02-2011, 01:54 PM
Alito was an idiot for dissenting. This was one of the easiest cases those 9 clowns will ever get, and he blew it.

<iframe title="YouTube video player" width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/hqPRwq3QJsk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Cave Johnson
03-02-2011, 01:55 PM
Does anyone know how they are funded?

At least partially by lawsuits paid by the government (through EAJA).

dirk digler
03-02-2011, 02:00 PM
I could be wrong. Feel free to look up whatever you read that was different. But the protests themselves which are mainly what I meant to talk about are not large, it's a handful of people who are kept far away and shielded off, thankfully. Like any of you I would laugh joyfully if a large bus lost its brakes and accidentally ran all of them down, but I think the chances their tiny protests actually end up being seen by any of the families are nil anymore.

I have been to 2 concerts in KC in the last 2 years where they protested and there was around 20-30 including kids.

If you look at wikipedia it states there is around 70 members of their church and that was from 2007.

But I agree I wouldn't mind seeing them all gone and I am surprised with all the crazy people in the world why this hasn't happened yet.

chiefsnorth
03-02-2011, 02:12 PM
I have been to 2 concerts in KC in the last 2 years where they protested and there was around 20-30 including kids.

If you look at wikipedia it states there is around 70 members of their church and that was from 2007.

But I agree I wouldn't mind seeing them all gone and I am surprised with all the crazy people in the world why this hasn't happened yet.

Well, you are much closer to their home than I am, that could explain it. What does 70 "members" mean? On the one hand there are always church members who are never around or who just leave, and never go off the rolls. On the other hand at the one I attend most people who I know, people who are there and active every week, are not actually members. I am wondering how many there really are who participate in these protests. Hopefully not many.

I feel bad for the kids, being raised there and not knowing any better.

Crush
03-02-2011, 04:49 PM
What if I start a religion and the basic premise of Dongerism is that all Black people are stupid and part devil?

(The above is just an example. I don't think Black people are stupid)

I think you just described Mormonism from 1852 to 1978.

Shogun
03-02-2011, 05:02 PM
Ridiculous. Free speech shouldn't mean that you're free of consequences for that speech.

Thats not freedom of speech then.

3rd&48ers
03-02-2011, 05:03 PM
Pepper spray would do wonders in a case like this...

Bugeater
03-02-2011, 05:04 PM
Thats not freedom of speech then.
You don't know what freedom of speech really is then.

3rd&48ers
03-02-2011, 05:05 PM
Thats not freedom of speech then.

Only the Government can guarantee you free speech, consequences from the government would be squelching your free speech rights, punching a few of them in the mouth by the general public is not suppressing free speech.

Shogun
03-02-2011, 05:07 PM
You don't know what freedom of speech really is then.

No, people shouldn't have to worry about the reprocussions of what they say, that is the Freedom.

Its not really 'Freedom' if you have to 'watch what you say'

But of course in this day and age you most definitely should be prepared for the reprocussions. Buncha crazy fucks wandering the streets.

Shogun
03-02-2011, 05:08 PM
Only the Government can guarantee you free speech, consequences from the government would be squelching your free speech rights, punching a few of them in the mouth by the general public is not suppressing free speech.

Okay, you put this into a different phrase. I misread the original wrong. My bad, carry on

kcfanXIII
03-02-2011, 05:55 PM
Okay, you put this into a different phrase. I misread the original wrong. My bad, carry on

I forgot we weren't in DC until i read this.

Dick Bull
03-02-2011, 06:40 PM
What if I start a religion and the basic premise of Dongerism is that all Black people are stupid and part devil?

(The above is just an example. I don't think Black people are stupid)

You are free to have that religion. You are free to believe what you choose. What are you are not free to do is to act on it. You can say what you want, you can write all the books that you want as long as you don't impune on someone else's rights.

i.e. Your right to swing your fists ends at my nose.

ClevelandBronco
03-02-2011, 07:17 PM
You are free to have that religion. You are free to believe what you choose. What are you are not free to do is to act on it. You can say what you want, you can write all the books that you want as long as you don't impune on someone else's rights.

i.e. Your right to swing your fists ends at my nose.

No, he'd be quite free to act on it. Perhaps I'm missing your point.

chiefsnorth
03-02-2011, 07:18 PM
Ridiculous. Free speech shouldn't mean that you're free of consequences for that speech.

The right means you are free to do this by default, and so long as you aren't violating any other law then you are safe. I can speak, but I can't speak for the purposes of arranging a murder. I can't speak to defraud somone. I don't know what law they violated in this case. (Thank God there is not yet a law against hurting someone else's feelings)

The right response is what people have been doing - outnumbering them, shielding, counter-demonstrating.

If people had the ability to totally silence them, however idiotic they are, just because we hate their ideas, that would be a monumental loss for everyone because then all you have to do is get a few of the right people to say somone's ideas could be dangerous and off to the gulag they go.

Just Passin' By
03-02-2011, 08:01 PM
Ridiculous. Free speech shouldn't mean that you're free of consequences for that speech.

Freedom of Speech via the First Amendment means that Federal Government cannot punish you for the words you use (This has been extended to the states though the wonder of selective incorporation, and it has been limited by exceptions that clearly were not written into the amendment). Private corporations and individuals may freely impose negative consequences to speech, as long as they do not violate the law (i.e. assault) in the process.

Dick Bull
03-02-2011, 08:46 PM
No, he'd be quite free to act on it. Perhaps I'm missing your point.


Hmmm. I thought I was clear. He can act upon it as long as his actions don't infringe on another's rights.

ClevelandBronco
03-02-2011, 08:59 PM
Hmmm. I thought I was clear. He can act upon it as long as his actions don't infringe on another's rights.

That must have been hidden in this statement:

What are you are not free to do is to act on it.

'Hamas' Jenkins
03-02-2011, 09:08 PM
This is the opportunity cost of having truly free speech. As despicable as their speech is, it sadly, must be defended.

Of course, you also have the right to call them vile cocksuckers.

Demonpenz
03-02-2011, 09:48 PM
Proud to be an American today!

jAZ
03-02-2011, 09:51 PM
It's like flag burning. You don't have to like it to passionately defend the right to do it.

Dick Bull
03-02-2011, 10:02 PM
That must have been hidden in this statement:

I threw an example in there. Jesus, next time I'll color you a picture.

mlyonsd
03-02-2011, 10:11 PM
The SC got it right...as distastful as it is. The proper thing to do now is ignore the clan since media hype is what they want.

Bambi
03-02-2011, 11:27 PM
The SC got it right...as distastful as it is. The proper thing to do now is ignore the clan since media hype is what they want.

this...

Jerm
03-02-2011, 11:28 PM
Hopefully someone just bombs their complex and we won't have to worry about it anymore....

DenverChief
03-03-2011, 02:24 AM
It's like flag burning. You don't have to like it to passionately defend the right to do it.

You can burn the flag or step on it or deface it however you want in a place I don't have to stand there and watch. At a funeral you have a captive audience, that can't not hear or see your protest....that is the difference, that captive audience part anyway

Al Bundy
03-03-2011, 07:10 AM
The people in this Phelps group I feel sorry for are the little kids, they are being raised so full of hate for the United States and it's citizens. It is going to get them all harmed, eventually.

Huffmeister
03-03-2011, 08:51 AM
The proper thing to do now is ignore the clan since media hype is what they want.
Exactly. That's why I'm not posting in this... dammit!

Brock
03-03-2011, 08:56 AM
It's like flag burning. You don't have to like it to passionately defend the right to do it.

Uh huh. And, like flag burning, doing it in the wrong place around the wrong people is likely to get you a passionate punch in the face. There's a good reason these people hide behind cops to do their dirt. Frankly, police departments need to start telling these people "no we won't provide protection during your demonstration".

Swanman
03-03-2011, 09:08 AM
Michael Moore gave us the blueprint for running the Phelps clan off. Just send a few really, really, really, really gay gentlemen their way and they run away like their asses are on fire.

Ebolapox
03-03-2011, 09:08 AM
Truth. they hate fags, apparently.

chiefsnorth
03-03-2011, 09:12 AM
Uh huh. And, like flag burning, doing it in the wrong place around the wrong people is likely to get you a passionate punch in the face. There's a good reason these people hide behind cops to do their dirt. Frankly, police departments need to start telling these people "no we won't provide protection during your demonstration".

So free speech should stand but the police should abdicate their duty if the speech is unpopular.

That is no different than if the SC had ruled the other way.

Swanman
03-03-2011, 09:12 AM
If someone does murderate one or two of the clan during a funeral for a lost loved one, I can see the term "temporary insanity" being used liberally by the defense. Rampant grief + some asshole taunting you viciously = temporary insanity. It's simple psychological math.

Swanman
03-03-2011, 09:13 AM
Truth. they hate pillowbiters, apparently.

From the videos I saw, they are also deathly afraid of them. They are literally homophobic.

Dick Bull
03-03-2011, 09:14 AM
Uh huh. And, like flag burning, doing it in the wrong place around the wrong people is likely to get you a passionate punch in the face. There's a good reason these people hide behind cops to do their dirt. Frankly, police departments need to start telling these people "no we won't provide protection during your demonstration".

So I walk up and whack one of em in the face. Now I'm facing legal penalties as well as civil because you know the angry warthog is gonna sue that sh*t out of me. At least the police presence is preventing that.

Brock
03-03-2011, 09:15 AM
So free speech should stand but the police should abdicate their duty if the speech is unpopular.

That is no different than if the SC had ruled the other way.

Cops have better things to do.

BCD
03-03-2011, 09:17 AM
Uh huh. And, like flag burning, doing it in the wrong place around the wrong people is likely to get you a passionate punch in the face. There's a good reason these people hide behind cops to do their dirt. Frankly, police departments need to start telling these people "no we won't provide protection during your demonstration".Could not agree more.

jAZ
03-03-2011, 01:14 PM
You can burn the flag or step on it or deface it however you want in a place I don't have to stand there and watch. At a funeral you have a captive audience, that can't not hear or see your protest....that is the difference, that captive audience part anyway

If a group of 15 protesters show up at the gates of a military base and burn flags each day... or do the same at the US Capital building... or the mayors office in a given city... or a recruiters office... the same argument would exist.

They just go inside, close the blinds and go about your business.

And there are lots of innovative, peaceful ways that people are coming up with to protect the families from the Phelps-nuts.

That's the solution, IMO. Not banning peaceful protests.

Now if the Phelps-nuts start following around a single family, and they start actually stalking them... that's different and already illegal.

jAZ
03-03-2011, 01:17 PM
Uh huh. And, like flag burning, doing it in the wrong place around the wrong people is likely to get you a passionate punch in the face. There's a good reason these people hide behind cops to do their dirt. Frankly, police departments need to start telling these people "no we won't provide protection during your demonstration".
If someone wants to step up and punch Phelps in the face, good for them. That means that they are doing it knowing that they will probably get arrested for the punch, and I respect that immensely.

That doesn't mean we should make it legal for people to punch peaceful protesters just because they disagree (however passionately) with the grounds for the protest.

ArrowheadHawk
03-04-2011, 10:58 PM
<iframe title="YouTube video player" width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/iT7xQJrqUQ8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

lostcause
03-05-2011, 01:36 AM
I understand that the Phelps cult is inflammatory and annoying; but this decision is an obvious one. Reaffirming the right of American citizens to picket at dead soldiers funerals by a group of 10-15 people that are disdained by 99+% of the population stands as a very powerful victory for this country and what it stands for.

gblowfish
03-05-2011, 08:01 AM
Saw this cartoon about Phelps klan. Well done.

scott free
03-06-2011, 09:00 AM
I hate to say it, because i absolutely despise those people, but... if we start legislating whether or not they can protest, next thing you know the courts will be telling the rest of us that we cant protest this or that either. Its the very definition of 'slippery slope'.

There are ways to contain those assholes anyway... prescribed areas where they can stand, Freedom Riders to block their view & drown out their noise etc.

Bwana
03-06-2011, 09:13 AM
One of these days, someone, or some group, is going to take care of the problem.

GloryDayz
03-06-2011, 10:12 AM
would someone just ****ing kill those assholes already?

This.....

Marcellus
03-06-2011, 10:29 AM
I hate to say it, because i absolutely despise those people, but... if we start legislating whether or not they can protest, next thing you know the courts will be telling the rest of us that we cant protest this or that either. Its the very definition of 'slippery slope'.
There are ways to contain those assholes anyway... prescribed areas where they can stand, Freedom Riders to block their view & drown out their noise etc.

I hate this argument with every fiber of my being. There is such a thing as common sense or simply put, right and wrong.

People are allowed to own guns as long as they use them in a responsible manner. The right to bear arms has restrictions, so should the right to free speech.

Freedom of speech can be regulated to only cover rights as intended by the constitution. This type of hatred fueled speech was never intended to be covered under the 1st amendment.

It's a simple as right and wrong and by saying we can't, as a country, distinguish between the 2 without going down a "slipper slope" is like saying we can't use common sense of right and wrong to determine anything else either.

GloryDayz
03-06-2011, 10:33 AM
I find it interesting how a kid in any school who calls another kid a "Fag" can be diciplined, but obviously the supreme court thinks it's covered under free speech. I know it's not a one-for-one comparison since they aren't calling the people "Fags", but somehow they've drawn sexual orientation in as the only reason God is killing people overseas. Did they forget the whole "Oil" argument?

The only good news is that they've made fools of themselves as a church as a whole, and God's got a special place in Hell reserved for them.

And it would be nice to know if any of Fred's followers ever dies. It might be worth attending...

kcfanXIII
03-06-2011, 10:58 AM
If the police weren't there it would be easy to sneak up on them, go Albert Pujols on a few of their knee caps, then slip away. I doubt the crowd would finger a suspect.

And it most certainly a slippery slope. All it would take is for one lawyer to cite this case for precedence and all of a sudden you can't protest a war because somebody gets sand in their vag. Techncally they arent "hurting" anyone so i see no need to make it illegal.

Bwana
03-06-2011, 11:28 AM
I understand that the Phelps cult is inflammatory and annoying; but this decision is an obvious one. Reaffirming the right of American citizens to picket at dead soldiers funerals by a group of 10-15 people that are disdained by 99+% of the population stands as a very powerful victory for this country and what it stands for.

Hmmm, well what's your take on this?

http://blogs.forbes.com/andygreenberg/2011/03/02/docs-reveal-tsa-plan-to-body-scan-pedestrians-train-passengers/

jAZ
03-06-2011, 02:44 PM
I find it interesting how a kid in any school who calls another kid a "pillowbiter" can be diciplined, but obviously the supreme court thinks it's covered under free speech. I know it's not a one-for-one comparison since they aren't calling the people "pillowbiters", but somehow they've drawn sexual orientation in as the only reason God is killing people overseas.

http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/studentspeech.htm

It's pretty clear that disruptive behavior isn't protected within schools. So the Phelps kids can't take their signs into class (were they actually ever educated) because it would be disruptive.

Introduction
Students do not, the Court tells us in Tinker vs. Des Moines, "shed their constitutional rights when they enter the schoolhouse door." But it is also the case that school administrators have a far greater ability to restrict the speech of their students than the government has to restrict the speech of the general public. Student speech cases require a balancing of the legitimate educational objectives and need for school discipline of administrators against the First Amendment values served by extending speech rights of students.

In Tinker, perhaps the best known of the Court's student speech cases, the Court found that the First Amendment protected the right of high school students to wear black armbands in a public high school, as a form of protest against the Viet Nam War. The Court ruled that this symbolic speech--"closely akin to pure speech"--could only be prohibited by school administrators if they could show that it would cause a substantial disruption of the school's educational mission.

...

Bethel and Hazelwood, on the other hand, were victories for school administrators over the First Amendment claims of students. In Bethel, the Court upheld the right of Washington state high school administrators to discipline a student for delivering a campaign speech at a school assembly that was loaded with sexual innuendo. The Court expressed the view that administrators ought to have the discretion to punish student speech that violates school rules and has the tendency to interfere with legitimate educational and disciplinary objectives.

CrazyPhuD
03-06-2011, 08:22 PM
someone's gonna get shot!

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/03/06/westboro-baptist-church-attorney-military-worse-al-qaeda/

Just Passin' By
03-06-2011, 09:31 PM
I find it interesting how a kid in any school who calls another kid a "pillowbiter" can be diciplined, but obviously the supreme court thinks it's covered under free speech. I know it's not a one-for-one comparison since they aren't calling the people "pillowbiters", but somehow they've drawn sexual orientation in as the only reason God is killing people overseas. Did they forget the whole "Oil" argument?

The only good news is that they've made fools of themselves as a church as a whole, and God's got a special place in Hell reserved for them.

And it would be nice to know if any of Fred's followers ever dies. It might be worth attending...

In the case of children, the Supreme Court just made shit up (not surprising for those clowns) and ruled that a student's free speech is more limited than an adults.