States to file Supreme Court brief: Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church wrong to heckle at funeral of Iraq Marine Matthew Snyder

Pat McMahon Contributor
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Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia are backing the family of fallen Marine Matthew Snyder in a pending U.S. Supreme Court case that could decide the constitutionality of laws restricting protests at private family funerals.

A church group has outraged families by disrupting over 600 military funerals.

Lance Cpl. Snyder, who was deployed to Iraq in 2006, was killed just a month later in an accident. His funeral in Maryland was disrupted by demonstrators led by Kansas pastor Fred W. Phelps, yelling, among other things, that America’s military is evil because it defends a country that tolerates homosexuality.

Snyder’s family sued, but an appeals court said the hecklers were exercising their right to free speech.

Now, all but two state attorneys general have signed a “friend of the court” brief, to be filed tomorrow, that argues the First Amendment should not apply to some “intrusive and harassing” forms of expression.

Full story: States to File Supreme Court Brief: Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church Wrong to Heckle at Funeral of Iraq Marine Matthew Snyder – ABC News