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U.S. Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Phelps  
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26353 posts, RR: 76
Posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2465 times:

In a ruling I completely expected and support as an employment and civil rights lawyer, the Supreme Court released its holding this morning stating that the Westboro Baptist Church has the right to picket military funerals. The result was just announced on MSNBC, though I haven't found an internet link yet. Will add one as soon as I find one.

In writing for an 8-1 Court, Chief Justice Roberts wrote basically what I've been saying - these are people that the vast majority of us find disgusting bigots but they are just as entitled to free speech rights.

The case is Snyder v. Phelps.


Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
72 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinembmbos From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2597 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2435 times:

Without a doubt it is the correct decision. As despicable as the Westboro group is, the thought that our rights to free speech could be curtailed is far more threatening to our society than a bunch of hate filled yahoos disrupting funerals.

User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26353 posts, RR: 76
Reply 2, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2437 times:

Here is the opinion:

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/09-751.pdf



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlinegatorfan From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 331 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2409 times:

It's the absolute right decision that results in the absolute wrong outcome. Sometimes it must suck to be a justice or judge.

I'm interested in Alito's dissent.


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26353 posts, RR: 76
Reply 4, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2368 times:

Quoting gatorfan (Reply 3):
I'm interested in Alito's dissent.

He basically rests his view on the public figure line of cases, stating that Snyder is not a public figure so the harmful speech should not be protected. Its completely unconvincing, incredibly intellectually dishonest given his inappropriately staunch defense of Citizens United and really just a visceral reaction to a class he wants to protect. If this was Phelps at a gay man's funeral, I think Alito would have made it a 9-0 majority.

Quoting gatorfan (Reply 3):
Sometimes it must suck to be a justice or judge.

Being the last line of defense for the Constitution never sucks.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineAGM100 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 5407 posts, RR: 16
Reply 5, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2347 times:

A more interesting issue is that of the foreigner Muslim leader Anjem Choudary ... who plans along with the Islamic Thinkers Society of America and CAIR operatives to have a march on DC tomorrow. They have a permit from the DC police (thanks to the International Socialists of the World.org) and plan a march to call for Sharia in the US. I believe our government should ban him ... he is not a citizen and has no rights here . Even better he should be arrested at the airport and sent to "gitmo" .... that would be a interesting SC Case ...

The Phelps case is not a shocker at all ...they have a right to protests ... I am not surprised at the ruling at all. I hate those people but they have rights .



You dig the hole .. I fill the hole . 100% employment !
User currently offlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3275 posts, RR: 45
Reply 6, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2340 times:

My only question about this (and obviously I would defer to the Supreme Court's vastly superior legal comprehension), is the potential to incite violence. I don't know about you guys, but I would imagine I'm not alone in thinking that if this ever happened to me, I'd consider killing them all. I would definitely think the imminent lawless action test put forth in Brandenberg v. Ohio would at least somewhat come into play.

With that said, it's a fairly circumstantial argument, so unfortunately, the correct decision was probably made.

Either way, I can't wait for these people to get what's coming to them.

Cheers,
Cameron


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26353 posts, RR: 76
Reply 7, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2329 times:

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 5):
he is not a citizen and has no rights here .

Sorry, wrong there. The Constitution makes very clear where there are rights of "citizens" and rights of "people." Rights of "people" are those guaranteed to every single person on US soil, whether or not they are a citizen. Do you also believe that non-citizens should have no right to a fair trial (leave out any and all illegal immigration debate here and assume they are legal). Right to counsel? Search and seizure?

The First Amendment is one of those "people" amendments.

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 5):
I hate

You shouldn't hate anyone.

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 6):
My only question about this (and obviously I would defer to the Supreme Court's vastly superior legal comprehension), is the potential to incite violence. I don't know about you guys, but I would imagine I'm not alone in thinking that if this ever happened to me, I'd consider killing them all. I would definitely think the imminent lawless action test put forth in Brandenberg v. Ohio would at least somewhat come into play.

1) I think the history with these pieces of garbage has shown that violence generally doesn't result.

2) They are yelling insults, not threats.

3) None of the 3 opinions really consider this because I don't think anyone expects that kind of incitement.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11179 posts, RR: 52
Reply 8, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2327 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 4):
Snyder is not a public figure so the harmful speech should not be protected

What is inherently wrong with this idea?

The first amendment is to protect the dissemination of ideas, especially those critical of the government. Picketing a funeral is harrassment, which was never considered protected speech.


[/devils advocate][/sorta]



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User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26353 posts, RR: 76
Reply 9, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2315 times:

Quoting D L X (Reply 8):
What is inherently wrong with this idea?

When it comes to defamation law, nothing. When it comes to engaging in public speech, its terribly wrong.

Quoting D L X (Reply 8):
The first amendment is to protect the dissemination of ideas, especially those critical of the government. Picketing a funeral is harrassment, which was never considered protected speech.

Except that they are picketing on public ground the funeral of someone who has aligned himself with the government they are protesting. Further, while they are picketing a funeral, their protests are ostensibly over general government and public figure (the Catholic Church, in this case) actions. Given that they complied with reasonable time and place restrictions, there really is no way around this.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11179 posts, RR: 52
Reply 10, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2299 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 9):
Quoting D L X (Reply 8):
What is inherently wrong with this idea?

When it comes to defamation law, nothing. When it comes to engaging in public speech, its terribly wrong.

So harrassment in public is okay? Or perhaps harrassment in public about societal things is okay?

Quoting N1120A (Reply 9):
Except that they are picketing on public ground the funeral of someone who has aligned himself with the government they are protesting.

no way. Nuh uh. You don't give up your rights to privacy because you draw a paycheck from Uncle Sam, just like you don't become his spokesperson by being employed by him.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 9):
Given that they complied with reasonable time and place restrictions, there really is no way around this.

In the end, this is the only reason I agree (at all) with the decision. They were kept away from the funeral, so in that respect, it was just another march.

[Edited 2011-03-02 09:41:47]


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User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26353 posts, RR: 76
Reply 11, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2279 times:

Quoting D L X (Reply 10):

So harrassment in public is okay?

Hurling epithets or profane insults at someone is certainly okay. Doing it generally and from 1000 feet away where they can't hear you and barely see you - of course.

Quoting D L X (Reply 10):
Or perhaps harrassment in public about societal things is okay?

1) Its not as if they were actually in Snyder's face.

2) Cheering for gay rights and access to safe, clean and legal abortions is considered "harassment" by people I find in the wrong. Doesn't mean I shouldn't be able to do so.

Quoting D L X (Reply 10):

no way. Nuh uh. You don't give up your rights to privacy because you draw a paycheck from Uncle Sam, just like you don't become his spokesperson by being employed by him.

You lose your right to privacy when you die.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7546 posts, RR: 32
Reply 12, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2266 times:

If I lived in Wichita - I'd be out every worship day demonstrating my right of free speech by marching in front of their church - portraying them as the disciples of the devil.

User currently offlineAGM100 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 5407 posts, RR: 16
Reply 13, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2264 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 7):
Sorry, wrong there.



Ok ... he has certain rights ... but it would be interesting to see how the court would rule application of the 1st to a foreigner calling for the abolishment of our constitution. (it may have been decided I am not aware of it) .
But here we have a foreigner calling for the over throw of our constitution ...is that protected free speech ? Even more interesting would be to have a US soldier shoot him in DC and claim the oath of defending the constitution as the basis of his rights... man now that would get harry.



You dig the hole .. I fill the hole . 100% employment !
User currently offlinekaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12407 posts, RR: 37
Reply 14, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2243 times:

Quoting gatorfan (Reply 3):
It's the absolute right decision that results in the absolute wrong outcome. Sometimes it must suck to be a justice or judge.

I think the outcome had to be expected. I agree it was the right decision (in the context of the first amendment), but I don't think it was the wrong outcome. Why? Does government or the courts need to tell us that what these people are saying or doing is repulsive, immoral or nasty? No, the vast majority of people can make that decision for themselves. Being in a democracy means that you trust people with these decisions, just as you trust them to make decisions at the ballot box. One goes with the other; either you have freedom or you don't.

That said, personally I don't agree with absolute freedom of expression.

Why?

If, like me, you're a white person in a predominantly white society, then you're not really going to be able to feel what it is like to have your rights or dignity questioned by some people (for example, the Far Right); I think it is repulsive that they say what I say; I can sympathise, but I cannot fully emphathise. However, I do not believe it is right for these people to behave in a way which undermines dignity and respect for any part of society, particularly if that behaviour is likely to incite violence or hatred against that minority.

It may sound counter-intuitive and illogical, but there are no absolute freedoms in a free society.


User currently offlineplanespotting From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3521 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2223 times:

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 6):
My only question about this (and obviously I would defer to the Supreme Court's vastly superior legal comprehension), is the potential to incite violence

That is an interesting question, and frankly hate speech and making a case that Phelps' crew were practicing it is about the only way I can think of that would have a chance of making his actions unconstitutional. Diddo with fighting words, which are also not protected by the constitution.

Quoting D L X (Reply 8):
Picketing a funeral is harrassment

The excerpts I read of the Robert's-written opinion seem to be pretty logical and easy to understand, even for a non-lawyer like myself. Here's the best way he sums up why protesting at a funeral (especially in the specific case and circumstances that the court considered) is not unconstitutional:

Simply put, the church members had the right to be where they were. Westboro alerted local authorities to its funeral protest and fully complied with police guidance onwhere the picketing could be staged. The picketing was conducted under police supervision some 1,000 feet from the church, out of the sight of those at the church. The protest was not unruly; there was no shouting, profanity, or violence.

The record confirms that any distress occasioned by Westboro’s picketing turned on the content and viewpoint of the message conveyed, rather than any interference with the funeral itself. A group of parishioners standing at the very spot where Westboro stood, holding signs that said “God Bless America” and “God Loves You,” would not have been subjected to liability. It was what Westboro said that exposed it to tort damages.

...

Here, Westboro stayed well away from the memorial service. Snyder could see no more than the tops of the signs when driving to the funeral. And there is no indication that the picketing in any way interfered with the funeral service itself.


It's important to remember that you can regulate speech based on the time, place and manner (which is why you can be arrested for staging a massive protest on a public highway, yelling with a megaphone in the middle of a neighborhood street at midnight, or for protesting in a way that urges violence from the participants), but not message. That's why the distinction between the Westboro folks and the peaceful counter protest is so important - in this country, both have a right to be there, and both also have a right to have a message.

I love free speech cases, as thats the part of Con law that I'm most familiar with, having been a teaching assistant for a 1st Amendment law class in graduate school.



Do you like movies about gladiators?
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26353 posts, RR: 76
Reply 16, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2222 times:

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 13):
but it would be interesting to see how the court would rule application of the 1st to a foreigner calling for the abolishment of our constitution.

Well, lots of people call for repugnant change to our constitution. Like denying basic civil rights to gay people. Anyway, aliens in the United States are given the same rights as citizens regarding basic human rights like free speech, religion and due process.

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 12):
If I lived in Wichita - I'd be out every worship day demonstrating my right of free speech by marching in front of their church - portraying them as the disciples of the devil.

That's the way to do it.

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 13):
Even more interesting would be to have a US soldier shoot him in DC and claim the oath of defending the constitution as the basis of his rights... man now that would get harry.

It wouldn't be interesting. It would be a murder conviction.

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 13):
But here we have a foreigner calling for the over throw of our constitution ...is that protected free speech ?

You don't overthrow a document, you overthrow a government. Ever heard of the Smith Act? That got eviscerated by the Supremes. And that was in the 50s. Their holdings from then apply to almost the same facts you are assuming here.

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 5):
foreigner Muslim leader Anjem Choudary

You, of course, mean extremist leader Anjem Choudary.

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 5):
CAIR operatives

  



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineAGM100 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 5407 posts, RR: 16
Reply 17, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2186 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 16):
It wouldn't be interesting. It would be a murder conviction.



Your probably right ... about as interesting as the Westboro case then ...
I agree this guy is a radical extremist ... we will see what happens tomorrow .. lets see how many people show up.



You dig the hole .. I fill the hole . 100% employment !
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19363 posts, RR: 58
Reply 18, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2188 times:

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 5):
They have a permit from the DC police (thanks to the International Socialists of the World.org) and plan a march to call for Sharia in the US. I believe our government should ban him ... he is not a citizen and has no rights here . Even better he should be arrested at the airport and sent to "gitmo" .... that would be a interesting SC Case ...

The Constitution at no point, other than voting rights, differentiates between citizens and non-citizens. Non-citizens under U.S. jurisdiction are still "persons" and are subject to all the rights in the Constitution. He has a right to a fair trial. If he's guilty, then the court will find him to be so.

When you decide to waive due process for a certain group of people, it's very easy for an increasing large subset (until it becomes a majority) to keep getting included.

I agree that he does NOT have a right to enter the country, but once he is allowed to, he does have rights. He has not committed an arrestable offense (that I know of). If Phelps is allowed to spout his extreme-Christian views, then extreme-Muslim views are also acceptable.

On-topic, people need to stop suing WBC. Phelps is a lawyer and he's very meticulous about not breaking laws. He makes his money by goading people to sue him and then collecting off the counter-suit.


User currently offlinefxramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7180 posts, RR: 86
Reply 19, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2177 times:
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Alito the lone ranger - I'm surprised.   

User currently offlinegatorfan From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 331 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2170 times:

Quoting kaitak (Reply 14):
but I don't think it was the wrong outcome. Why?

Because after all the discussion of ConLaw is said and done, it must suck to have to bury your son while idiots like this are saying what they're saying and doing what they're doing. I'm not saying that they don't have a Constitutional right to do it, I'm just saying that it made a really difficult day just a bit harder for the family.


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21483 posts, RR: 56
Reply 21, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2163 times:

Yeah, it's the right call, but it really sucks to see that group winning anything.   

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 13):
But here we have a foreigner calling for the over throw of our constitution ...is that protected free speech ?

Absolutely. He can call for it as much as he wants. Doesn't mean it will happen without massive public support, since that's what you need to get the Constitution changed.

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 13):
Even more interesting would be to have a US soldier shoot him in DC and claim the oath of defending the constitution as the basis of his rights... man now that would get harry.

Not hairy at all - that would be a cut and dry case of murder on the part of the soldier.

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 12):
If I lived in Wichita - I'd be out every worship day demonstrating my right of free speech by marching in front of their church - portraying them as the disciples of the devil.

Good idea, but you're probably better off doing it in Topeka, since that's where their church is.  

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineseb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 11511 posts, RR: 15
Reply 22, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2151 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 7):
Quoting AGM100 (Reply 5):
I hate

You shouldn't hate anyone.

Absolutly not. Leave that to Westboro "Church." They hate enough for everyone!

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 12):
I'd be out every worship day demonstrating my right of free speech by marching in front of their church - portraying them as the disciples of the devil.

In 1996, I attended my family's church. A middle-of-the-road church open to whomever wishes to worship in a Christian way. That includes gays and Blacks and unwed mothers. There were protesters out picketing saying how evil this particular church was and I thought to myself "why are these so-called Christians ignoring and going against one of the holiest commandments?" These people have no clue what Christianity is about. And they will find that out on judgement day!



Life in the wall is a drag.
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26353 posts, RR: 76
Reply 23, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2095 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 18):

On-topic, people need to stop suing WBC. Phelps is a lawyer and he's very meticulous about not breaking laws. He makes his money by goading people to sue him and then collecting off the counter-suit.

1) Just about everyone in the Phelps family has gone to law school and are rather adept at First Amendment law, because they have so much experience.

2) Phelps himself was disbarred by both the State of Kansas then the various federal jurisdictions that admitted him years ago. The cases are generally handled by his daughters.

3) They don't counter-sue. As I explained in that previous long thread after the Fourth Circuit came down with its ruling, what WBC got was its costs of suit, and that is what it generally gets when it is sued and loses. They use an old tactic of charging the maximum possible for copying and the like to run up a bill and use their in-house printing capabilities to hold costs down and make a hefty profit. Then, when their rights are violated by some statute, they can also get attorney's fees.

Quoting fxramper (Reply 19):
Alito the lone ranger - I'm surprised.

I'm not. He's so intellectually dishonest, it makes Scalia blush. I'm more surprised that Thomas didn't go that way.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineokie From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2986 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2092 times:

Quoting gatorfan (Reply 20):
it must suck to have to bury your son while idiots like this are saying what they're saying and doing what they're doing. I'm not saying that they don't have a Constitutional right to do it, I'm just saying that it made a really difficult day just a bit harder for the family


That is how they support themselves by extracting an emotional response. They travel with legal council and take people to court.
They spend their days searching for funerals of children, service men/women, for what they figure they can get an emotional response from someone who might act irrationally under the emotion of the moment.
So far it appears they seem to be successful. Look on the inter-net for a few minutes for a good emotionally charged bunch of prospects, drive a couple hours, get a permit, try to entice someone to violate their civil rights, file a court case and go back home thousands of dollars richer for a couple hours work.

Let them stand on the corner an spout rhetoric, if they do not get any response then they will have to go elsewhere to find a way to support themselves.

Okie


25 Post contains links N1120A : They ARE their legal counsel. Margie Phelps, one of Fred's kids, even argued the case. Here is the oral argument, including recording, if you want to
26 N1120A : Incidentally, listening to the argument, I can hear Justice Breyer writing his concurrence as he questions Margie Phelps. He loves tests, and he tried
27 ltbewr : As much as many despise the actions and opinions of the Phelps family cult, this solid 8-1 decision of the SCOTUS also protects the free speech of pro
28 DiamondFlyer : They live in Topeka but that's really irrelevant in this case. And as much as I don't like them, the right decision was made in this case. -DiamondFl
29 Baroque : Perhaps a pity the US constitution does not also include a caveat that judgments should also take common sense and a view of common decency into thei
30 lewis : This is tricky, lack common decency may be easy to spot in this case but in general, it always depends on the place and the time and is changing all
31 N1120A : Slippery meet slope.
32 Cadet985 : Here's an idea...the Court said that the group can't be stopped from protesting. Cities, towns, states, etc. can set limits on where they can protest.
33 ltbewr : Our First Amendment, as to personal political and religious speech is pretty much absolute. Unlike many countries we do not have statutory limits lik
34 Post contains images Baroque : Agreed, but perhaps that is a reason to argue that: is better defined by hanging on to: The ltbewr formulation gets to sound awfully close to fundame
35 DocLightning : But in this case, it is true and it is a good formulation. The United States carries a tradition of endorsing freedom of speech, even very unpopular
36 Post contains links and images Baroque : Written like a good fundamentalist. Expect to get a congrats letter from OBL any day now. Meanwhile Philip Adams will probably withhold his Koala sta
37 AeroWesty : Here's my problem with the court's decision. Apparently, it rests on the fact that the Phelps group was protesting using a "public" argument, not spec
38 planespotting : Since when do people lose their First Amendment rights by being present at a private event? But they weren't even at the private event - they were pr
39 D L X : There's no such thing as a slippery slope outside of rhetoric. However, a "common sense" rule is really nothing more than a majority override - the v
40 N1120A : Precisely. Hence the slippery slope argument. You allow "common sense" rules and you end up being the UK. I love the UK, but there are massive fundam
41 AeroWesty : The First Amendment was written to protect people from tyranny by the government for speaking out against it. If you were able to say anything you wa
42 DocLightning : Nope. They were technically on public ground and acceptable distance from the private event. Listen, there are legal ways to deal with this. I like t
43 AeroWesty : You as well missed my point. Re-read, "as a cause" in the sentence I wrote.
44 N1120A : 1) "Hate speech" is protected. 2) Defamation is an extremely specific tort that requires very strict circumstances to prove.
45 AeroWesty : Unless it fits into a pigeonhole such as libel, obscenity, or fighting words. Two of the three I could see applying to the Phelps gang.
46 N1120A : 1) Obscenity has always been applied to sex (unfortunately). 2) Libel is a) written and b) also defamation (like slander) and quite hard to prove. Un
47 AeroWesty : So? You may make as many lists as you want, or cite as many court decisions as you'd like, but at the end of the day they still won't prove that the
48 Aphonic : I think there should be an exception for the brave Americans who trained so hard, fought for our freedom, then made the ultimate sacrifice. The famil
49 N1120A : Except that said "private" functions on "private" venues are being held in "private" venues that are open to the public, in the public forum and that
50 AeroWesty : You're erring by aligning your arguments too closely towards the protests at soldier's funerals (which admittedly, was the case that was argued--the
51 N1120A : No way. Equal protection of the laws means equal protection of the laws. That was the case at bar. The Court didn't really rule on that issue, though
52 Aphonic : Legally yes, morally no!
53 Cadet985 : Doc, what constitutes an acceptable distance? 50 feet, 50 miles? To me, I would keep them at least 10 miles from anywhere a funeral, procession, or b
54 N1120A : Then I guess you also agree that the government should be able to tell people who they can marry?
55 D L X : 10 miles is clearly too far away to require someone to be. I mean, on any given day, it might be damn near impossible to be more than 10 miles away f
56 N1120A : I can say John Boehner harasses me every time he talks on TV. Does Agent Orange have to close his mouth?
57 DocLightning : I believe it's 500 yards, but don't hold me to it. Yes, too close, I agree. But suppose they were a garden-variety anti-war group? "Another dead sold
58 N1120A : In this case, I believe it was 1000 feet. Its supposed to be narrowly tailored.
59 Aphonic : No, not at all. Where did you get that from? I can care less who marries who. All my saying is we should honor the people that protect us. I'm not sa
60 Mudboy : I think someone needs to show up while these morons are protesting and spray a little pepper spray a few yards upwind of them, everytime they exercise
61 Post contains images BEG2IAH : I understand (rationally) why the SC ruled this way, but as someone who's not an American, but just a legal alien, I cannot (emotionally) understand t
62 DocLightning : This is something that is very true. I am getting really tired of various groups using "religion" as an excuse to justify that which is otherwise unj
63 Post contains images N1120A : It would be highly illegal. Protect us? In our geographically isolated, highly advanced country? Equal protection means equal protection. Don't even
64 Post contains images D L X : Now here's a question: would it be unconstitutional to make this action legal?
65 N1120A : Would be a fun one to think about.
66 Aphonic : Can the allowable distance be increased? Or is that opening another can of worms?
67 N1120A : The distance is on a case by case basis, but in no circumstance can it be something unreasonable (like that 10 mile example).
68 NorthstarBoy : When I read about the Phelps decision I breathed a huge sigh of relief and even felt a little of my confidence in the supreme court return following t
69 Aesma : Do these "massive fundamental flaws" end up screwing people's lives, putting them in jail or something ? Would that be such a bad thing ? It's not li
70 N1120A : The Terrorism Act of 2000 certainly screws with people's lives.
71 DocLightning : Germany's Constitution starts by declaring that "Human dignity shall be inviolable." (official translation) This is a result of the Holocaust and the
72 N1120A : The biggest difference between the German (and Canadian, to a large extent) and the US constitutions, and one that is studied very thoroughly among c
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