Strange it is that men should admit the validity of the arguments for free speech but object to their being “pushed to an extreme”, not seeing that unless the reasons are good for an extreme case, they are not good for any case.
John Stuart Mill, On Liberty
Viddy of the day: Westboro Wins In Court; Marine’s Family Saddened
No surprise that the loons from the Westboro church won the Supreme court case they were involved in.
It’s really simple, actually.
Yes, the language that the Westboro church protesters use is ugly, nasty, and evil, but that doesn’t mean they should not be allowed to use it. Most, but not all speech is protected against government interference. To stop the Westboro churchgoers from speaking their piece, no matter how vile, would be to say, here we will stop free speech. And once you argue for stopping free speech for one group, how long before other groups are silenced by the government?
Regardless, this is a thorny road to travel down, and the supreme court made the right decision in deciding this particular free speech case as broadly as possible.
Are the people from westboro evil, immoral, anti-social, and rude? Damn right. That doesn’t mean that their speech should be deemed illegal. These closeted ass-clown right wing nut bags who hate America really can’t help themselves, but that is no reason for the court to shut them up. The hate in their hearts is clear and it is about as un-christian as can be. But that does not mean that “we the people” should somehow ask the court to cut into the first amendment rights of anyone just to shut these few nuts up.
Not that I don’t feel for the petitioner here. This man has been truly hard done by, and if anyone deserved to win a case of this nature, it is him. Mr. Snyder, the man who filed suit against Westboro was burying his son, a fine young man, killed in Iraq. These nuts protested at this young mans funeral, approximately 30 minutes before the actual funeral, according to the writ of certiorari filed by the court. Mr. Snyder said he didn’t realize what the signs said until he saw it on the news. He claimed in the suit that, among other things that the protest was an intrusion on his privacy. He won millions from a lower court winning this case. The westboro church claimed this was excessive and sought to have the cases reversed on free speech grounds.
The appellate court agreed with Westboro. They held that the signs held at that protest were protected by the first amendment because they were: statements on matters of public concern; not provably false, and; were expressed solely through hyperbolic (but apparently not obscene in the eyes of the court) rhetoric.
Matters of public concern, stated, as in this case, on public property, which are not provably false and hyperbolic, are legal free speech.
It is up to the states to make their laws more stringent to protect the families of the soldiers, not the federal government.
These loons can hold those signs for the same reason that tea party patriots can hold signs that speak to their opinions on health care, and left-wing protesters can carry anti-war or anti-tax cuts for the rich signs. It’s speech, political speech, which means free speech. It might be a stupid bullshit opinion on the part of the westboro ass clowns, but it’s protected stupid bullshit.
Moral of the story: This is America, and in America, bullshit isn’t illegal.
If it was, we’d ALL be in prison.
That’s it from here, America. G’night!