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Old 03-02-2011, 08:43 AM  
alnorth alnorth is offline
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Fred Phelps wins

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.

Quote:
"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:

Quote:
"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.

Last edited by alnorth; 03-02-2011 at 11:37 AM..
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:44 AM   #2
Ebolapox Ebolapox is offline
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would someone just ****ing kill those assholes already?
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:45 AM   #3
kepp kepp is offline
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Ridiculous. Free speech shouldn't mean that you're free of consequences for that speech.
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:52 AM   #4
alnorth alnorth is offline
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(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)
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:55 AM   #5
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:58 AM   #6
Buehler445 Buehler445 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kepp View Post
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.
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:01 AM   #7
Cave Johnson Cave Johnson is offline
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Originally Posted by Buehler445 View Post
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.
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:02 AM   #8
kepp kepp is offline
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Your mom's a whore.
**** just got real
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:03 AM   #9
Valiant Valiant is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alnorth View Post
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.
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:06 AM   #10
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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.
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:08 AM   #11
Frazod Frazod is offline
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Originally Posted by H5N1 View Post
would someone just ****ing kill those assholes already?
Which ones - the Westboro assholes, or the Supreme Court assholes?
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:09 AM   #12
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:10 AM   #13
Brock Brock is offline
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Originally Posted by ClevelandBronco View Post
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.
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:12 AM   #14
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:12 AM   #15
ReynardMuldrake ReynardMuldrake is offline
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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.
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