American free speech laws tested in Supreme Court - Macleans.ca

American free speech laws tested in Supreme Court

Case prompted by fundamentalist protesters who picket at military funerals

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Today, the U.S. Supreme Court will will decide whether a fundamentalist church had the right to protest a soldier’s funeral with signs about war. The Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, led by Rev. Fred Phelps, has gained worldwide attention for its picketing of U.S. military funerals with signs such as “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” and “You’re Going to Hell.” According to the church, America’s wars abroad are punishment for homosexuality and abortion. The father of a Marine slain in Iraq has asked the Supreme Court to reinstate a $5-million civil verdict against members of the notorious church. The case will test the United States’ strong freedom of speech laws and whether the right of the father, Albert Snyder, to grieve privately for his son, outweighs the protesters’ right to express their views.

CTV News

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