Update from Lurleen: You can read the SCOTUS opinion here (PDF).
From this morning’s Seattle Times:
The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the First Amendment protects fundamentalist church members who mount attention-getting, anti-gay protests outside military funerals.
The court voted 8-1 in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan. The decision upheld an appeals court ruling that threw out a $5 million judgment to the father of a dead Marine who sued church members after they picketed his son’s funeral.
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion for the court. Justice Samuel Alito dissented.
“What Westboro said, in the whole context of how and where it chose to say it, is entitled to ‘special protection’ under the First Amendment,” Roberts wrote, “and that protection cannot be overcome by a jury finding that the picketing was outrageous.”
And you know what? I’m actually ok with this ruling. For one thing, free speech cannot be free if only popular expression is permitted. Suppression of speech is a dangerous thing, and you can bet that people like FRC and NOM would not hesitate to use precedent to prevent any demonstrations against their fear-mongering and lies.
And for another, this means that when the Crypt Keeper at long last dies, there will be absolutely nothing that the hate cult can do to keep away the festivities. They pissed in the bed, and I will take great delight in helping to wring out the sheets on top of them. I already have my “Fred Phelps Burns In Hell” sign ready to go.