Salt on a Wound - Bad Ruling in Phelps Case

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Salt on a Wound - Bad Ruling in Phelps Case

Post by Sakhaiva on Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:43 pm

In today's news:

BALTIMORE – The father of a Marine killed in Iraq and whose funeral was picketed by anti-gay protesters was ordered to pay the protesters' appeal costs, his lawyers said Monday.

On Friday, Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ordered Snyder to pay $16,510 to Fred Phelps. Phelps is the leader of the Westboro Baptist Church, which conducted protests at Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder's funeral in 2006.

The
two-page decision supplied by attorneys for Albert Snyder of York, Pa.,
offered no details on how the court came to its decision.



Attorneys also said Snyder is struggling to come up with fees associated with filing a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court. The decision adds "insult to injury," said Sean Summers, one of Snyder's lawyers. The high court agreed to consider whether the protesters' message is protected by the First Amendment or limited by the competing privacy and religious rights of the mourners.
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This, like any story on Phelps's cult, makes me physically sick... what was the judge thinking?
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Re: Salt on a Wound - Bad Ruling in Phelps Case

Post by DotNotInOz on Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:40 pm

While I agree with you that such actions by Phelps and crew make me ill myself, it's impossible to evaluate the judge's decision without more information, as I'm sure you're aware.

Vile though their actions are as viewed by most of us, they garner their own bad publicity by behaving contrary to simple human decency. Legally, however, what they did may be protected by the first amendment. Sometimes, I have great difficulty living in this country when such cruel and tasteless behavior is nonetheless protected speech.
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Re: Salt on a Wound - Bad Ruling in Phelps Case

Post by Ebon on Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:10 am

From The Desk Of The BDFL: No protests of ANY kind within 200 meters of a funeral. I don't care if you're protesting homosexuality, war crimes or the shortness of Febuary, there's a time and a place.
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Re: Salt on a Wound - Bad Ruling in Phelps Case

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:08 am

Are those motorcyclists still following him around, drowning out the sound of the protests?

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Re: Salt on a Wound - Bad Ruling in Phelps Case

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:21 am

Nobody has killed him yet?
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Re: Salt on a Wound - Bad Ruling in Phelps Case

Post by DotNotInOz on Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:17 pm

As for the case, it isn't over yet.

In 2007, a federal jury in Baltimore awarded $11 million in damages to Snyder whose family suffered intentional emotional distress at Phelps' hands. The award was subsequently reduced to $5 million and later overturned on appeal. It is now on the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

See full article

While I certainly agree that Phelps and and his so-called church members' actions are heartless and in the worst possible taste, there is something to be said for their right to protest in accord with their beliefs.

Undoubtedly, the Snyder family and other families have suffered tremendous emotional distress. But is a lawsuit justified in this case? I'm not sure that it is even though I shudder that I'm saying so.

If the Supreme Court hears this appeal, the outcome may be quite interesting in terms of further defining first amendment rights.
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Re: Salt on a Wound - Bad Ruling in Phelps Case

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:29 pm

I'll be following this with interest, as a fellow Constitutionalist nut.

: TED and Dot staying awake to read the decisions


I too hate Phelps yet am afraid of more limitations on free speech. I think a fair compromise would have been to dismiss the case but not leave Snyder with a bill. I think a fair compromise ruling would be to ban the protests within x amount of a funeral; which is already mostly the case, I think, though I'd be for expanding the radius. Make it a mile or something.

Phelps better hope for his sake there's not a hell, 'cause the minute some stray bullet gets him he's gonna fly there coach.

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Re: Salt on a Wound - Bad Ruling in Phelps Case

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:41 am

TigersEyeDowsing wrote:I'll be following this with interest, as a fellow Constitutionalist nut.

: TED and Dot staying awake to read the decisions


I too hate Phelps yet am afraid of more limitations on free speech. I think a fair compromise would have been to dismiss the case but not leave Snyder with a bill. I think a fair compromise ruling would be to ban the protests within x amount of a funeral; which is already mostly the case, I think, though I'd be for expanding the radius. Make it a mile or something.

Phelps better hope for his sake there's not a hell, 'cause the minute some stray bullet gets him he's gonna fly there coach.

I don't think he is actually there anymore. I think he gets his minions to do it.

Dealing with people of the emotional level at funerals, I'm surprised the bullets haven't started to fly yet.

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Re: Salt on a Wound - Bad Ruling in Phelps Case

Post by DotNotInOz on Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:06 pm

Last I heard while we still lived in Kansas (probably about 5 years ago), his middleaged daughter Shirley now schedules and coordinates the funeral protests. She's a barracuda from what I gleaned from various reports. She also handles most of their legal maneuvering since Fred was disbarred in the state of Kansas some years ago for unethical conduct.

Fred himself is probably too frail to do all that tromping about, brandishing offensive signs in people's faces, and screaming insults anymore. I think the guy's in his 70's, maybe nearly 80, if I recall correctly.
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Re: Salt on a Wound - Bad Ruling in Phelps Case

Post by tmarie64 on Sun Apr 04, 2010 8:12 am

I've seen phelps in person. I've seen him "accidentally" shove a grandkid into traffic because we weren't slowing down to look at him and his family. I don't "hate" him... He's not worth the time OR energy it takes. I do believe there is a special place in hell for him. I believe Satan has 1000 devils hung like mules waiting for him.

HOWEVER, I also believe that, despicable as he is, he has the RIGHT to freedom of speech. Just like I do. That right is protected, and belongs to everyone, not just the ones we like.

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Re: Salt on a Wound - Bad Ruling in Phelps Case

Post by TPaine on Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:14 pm

sacrificialgoddess wrote:Are those motorcyclists still following him around, drowning out the sound of the protests?
I think you must mean the Patriot Guard Riders. As far as I know they're still honoring our fallen soldiers and shielding the families from the Westboro Baptist Church lunatics, SG. Here's a link to a tribute to them from a fallen soldier's family. They've pretty much put Phelp's crew out of business at military funerals.
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Re: Salt on a Wound - Bad Ruling in Phelps Case

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:22 am

tmarie64 wrote:I've seen phelps in person. I've seen him "accidentally" shove a grandkid into traffic because we weren't slowing down to look at him and his family. I don't "hate" him... He's not worth the time OR energy it takes. I do believe there is a special place in hell for him. I believe Satan has 1000 devils hung like mules waiting for him.

HOWEVER, I also believe that, despicable as he is, he has the RIGHT to freedom of speech. Just like I do. That right is protected, and belongs to everyone, not just the ones we like.

He is actually one that I hope lives to a ripe old age, and dies of natural causes.

He is one that they would make a martyr out of.

While I would not be surprised if the bullets started flying at one of their "events", I don't really want it to happen. Let him die a straw death.

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Re: Salt on a Wound - Bad Ruling in Phelps Case

Post by tmarie64 on Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:03 pm

Oh, All, I doubt anyone would start shooting at one of his "events". The victims of his tirades are in such pain and turmoil that I doubt any of them would even think about that. The others there to try and protect the victims from him are too smart.

His group, a bunch of shithead cowards, they'd never throw a bullet. He just prefers to push kids.

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Re: Salt on a Wound - Bad Ruling in Phelps Case

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:10 pm

tmarie64 wrote:Oh, All, I doubt anyone would start shooting at one of his "events". The victims of his tirades are in such pain and turmoil that I doubt any of them would even think about that. The others there to try and protect the victims from him are too smart.

His group, a bunch of shithead cowards, they'd never throw a bullet. He just prefers to push kids.

Before I had my brain tumor surgery, I would have. Having a 2 year migraine makes you a little cranky.

Of course, I had a ready made defense right there.

Ladies and gentlemen of the Jury, I'm sorry, I had a brain tumor that caused temporary insanity. I would never do it now that it has been removed.
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Re: Salt on a Wound - Bad Ruling in Phelps Case

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:18 pm

Seen that one on law and order a few times Wink

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Re: Salt on a Wound - Bad Ruling in Phelps Case

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:51 pm

How'd it work?

Of course I can't use the defense now, just curious...
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Re: Salt on a Wound - Bad Ruling in Phelps Case

Post by Beribee on Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:08 pm

TPaine wrote:
sacrificialgoddess wrote:Are those motorcyclists still following him around, drowning out the sound of the protests?
I think you must mean the Patriot Guard Riders. As far as I know they're still honoring our fallen soldiers and shielding the families from the Westboro Baptist Church lunatics, SG. Here's a link to a tribute to them from a fallen soldier's family. They've pretty much put Phelp's crew out of business at military funerals.

My husband was a Patriot Guard Rider until his motorcycle accident.....pretty cool group of guys.

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Re: Salt on a Wound - Bad Ruling in Phelps Case

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:59 am

allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:How'd it work?

Of course I can't use the defense now, just curious...

It's played out a few times on TV both ways. Of course it's just TV, but neato nonetheless.

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Re: Salt on a Wound - Bad Ruling in Phelps Case

Post by Davelaw on Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:32 pm

the tower shooter at UT and the fictional Johnny fron Stephen King's Dead Zone both had tumor's in the brain.
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Re: Salt on a Wound - Bad Ruling in Phelps Case

Post by TPaine on Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:18 pm

tmarie64 wrote:I've seen phelps in person. I've seen him "accidentally" shove a grandkid into traffic because we weren't slowing down to look at him and his family. I don't "hate" him... He's not worth the time OR energy it takes. I do believe there is a special place in hell for him. I believe Satan has 1000 devils hung like mules waiting for him.

HOWEVER, I also believe that, despicable as he is, he has the RIGHT to freedom of speech. Just like I do. That right is protected, and belongs to everyone, not just the ones we like.
I'm glad it wasn't me driving, Marie. If it had been, I can hear myself saying to the first cop that showed up, "I'm sorry for what happened officer. I had to swerve to avoid the child that was pushed in front of my truck, and I just couldn't regain control fast enough to avoid running over Mr. Phelps."
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Re: Salt on a Wound - Bad Ruling in Phelps Case

Post by Davelaw on Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:24 pm

side comment-any one else notice how low the Phelps' legal fees were? they continue to do most of their own legal work even with the old man being disbarred
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Re: Salt on a Wound - Bad Ruling in Phelps Case

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:56 pm

Davelaw wrote:side comment-any one else notice how low the Phelps' legal fees were? they continue to do most of their own legal work even with the old man being disbarred

The last I knew of it, several of his children are lawyers.

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Re: Salt on a Wound - Bad Ruling in Phelps Case

Post by DotNotInOz on Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:09 pm

Yes, it's true that several of his kids are lawyers.
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Re: Salt on a Wound - Bad Ruling in Phelps Case

Post by TPaine on Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:12 pm

IMO, the late, great George Carlin said it best:
"The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandments in a courthouse: You cannot post 'Thou shalt not steal', 'Thou shalt not commit adultery' and 'Thou shalt not lie' in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians. It creates a hostile work environment."
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