October 6th, 2010
01:56 PM ET

Justices hear case of anti-gay protests at military funerals

The Supreme Court struggled Wednesday to find a constitutional balance between free speech and privacy in a case involving provocative anti-homosexual protests by a small church at the funeral of a soldier who died in Iraq.

Members of the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church protested outside the court, while inside, one of their members argued they had a right to promote what they called a broad-based message on public matters such as wars.

But the lawyer for the fallen Marine's father argued those protests were an invasion of privacy and an intentional infliction of emotional distress.

"[Justice] Brandeis said the right to be let alone was the most important, and so he must have been thinking there could be a tort [lawsuit] there for interference with privacy," Justice Stephen Breyer noted Wednesday. "And emotional injury, deliberately inflicted, could be one... but I see that in some instances that could be abused to prevent somebody from getting out a public message, and therefore, I'm looking for a line."

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soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Michelle

    This is discrimination. Do they protest at drug dealer's funerals? Do they protest at car accident funerals? How about police and fire fighter funerals? They are choosing to protest at military funerals because they know they will get media, and God does not judge. He loves all his children. He may not like everything that they do, but he unconditionally loves them all. So stop the media coverage for these 30 second celebrity seekers. And respect the families of our brave and heroic men and women that fight to defend our country. God bless our military and their families.

    October 6, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sherry Buckner

    Why can't they be charged with harassment?

    October 6, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      They are targeting Military, how about a hate crime?

      October 7, 2010 at 6:54 am | Report abuse |
  3. okay

    I in no way condone the f@ggot lifestyle..but a line has to be drawn somewhere..to protest at a funeral..f@g or not..and ecspecially a military funeral is about as disrespectful and wrong as you can get..they should at least be charged with disturbing the peace

    October 6, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bertina

      No you just support winkerbean abuse.

      October 6, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mehdi General Dr Bad

    OH yes kangaroo court, what wil it be hmm,,50-50 tie and hung court?
    or a 5 ot 3 Roberts decision.
    best judges money can buy.

    October 6, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Vetti

    Couldnt agree more. Its a disgrace what these people are doing in the name of God. Shame on them,its people like this that make others not believe in God and even go against Him.

    October 6, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mehdi General Dr Bad

    These hand picked apointed bought and paid for puppets are useless.
    from them to the iidot cops on the streets. what they and thier corrupt prosecuters odnt screw up, the lawyers do.
    f.b.i runs all over the world beating on evryon else,
    while thye and the c.i.a leave the criminals in america to go on robbing,mudering and lying.

    October 6, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mehdi General Dr Bad

    every day you do all you can to silance me and kill me even as you spew on about your free speach.
    which is Why I Now Own You.
    "Some One " Tell Ted Turner We Need to chat.
    You all Chose Glen Beck over Me and You Still do.
    It Sucks to Be You.
    And I can Not wait To See How YOU Explian it.

    October 6, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mehdi General Dr Bad

    These hand picked apointed bought and paid for puppets are useless.
    from them to the iidot cops on the streets. what they and thier corrupt prosecuters odnt screw up, the lawyers do.
    f.b.i runs all over the world beating on evryon else,
    while thye and the c.i.a leave the criminals in america to go on robbing,mudering and lying.
    im sick of your jew infested c.i.a and f.b.i puppets.
    and it is not Me They Or You Hurt.
    oh and I am Not Up For Reelection.

    October 6, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mehdi General Dr Bad

    and do you happen to have a Spare fire Truck or Tanker For Butte Falls Oregon?

    October 6, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Michelle D

    When will the Supreme Court and everyone else realize this group is hiding behind the First Amendment? That isn't what this is all about. It is about harrassment, intimidation and bullying and should be considered a hate crime.
    When will we protect the rights of our soldiers who are protecting us? This soldier's right to be laid to rest in peace by his family after dying to protect others was taken away by a group of hate mongers hiding behind God and the First amendment (which they wouldn't even have if it weren't for soldiers).
    Our right to bear arms comes with restrictions. Harrassment at funerals (cemetaries and churches) should be a restriction within the right to freedom of speech.

    October 6, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michelle D

      continued...
      If this was about the First Amendment there would be concern about the families right to peacably assemble and their freedom to exercise their religion both of which Fred Phelps and Westboro Church violated and both of which are protected under the First Amendment.

      October 6, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. okay

    ..

    October 6, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. okay

    I think mr.bad is a terroist..someone needs to find this guy and lock him up

    October 6, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Brianc

    What is sad is that this group who is protesting at military funerals, only has a right to protest because of free speech. The soldiers who have served have given them their right of free speech.

    October 6, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michelle D

      The soldiers gave them the right and defend that right and they abuse it. Definitely sad.

      October 6, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mehdi General Dr Bad

    Yes You Do Wish I would Kill My Self.
    Even wno still you are doing all you cna to kIll Me.
    Well Get Some one else to do it for you.
    NO, You cna NOT Debate or Despute anythihng I can say.
    only whine and call names and insult and threaten and argue and change subject and play word games.
    as of course you set nice and safe.
    Hypocrites. War Crimanals. Cowards. Baby KIllers.
    Lets play More Games,
    AS You Die.

    October 6, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Brianc

    I think you have alot of built up agresssion towards the USA mr. Bad. I can debate and dispute everything you say. I think you may need some serious therapy for your rage issues, or since this is a free country, you can feel free to leave! That's what makes this country great, we are free to leave if we are that unhappy I would much rather see you leave, rather than have you plant a bomb somewhere, or strap on a bomb laden suicide vest....... Just saying

    October 6, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
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