UPDATE: Palin clarifies her comments here. The headline and article have been edited to reflect her statement.
Sarah Palin criticized Wednesday’s Supreme Court decision that upheld a Kansas church’s right to protest at military funerals, a sign of the potential 2012 presidential contender’s views on free speech.
“Common sense & decency absent as wacko ‘church’ allowed hate msgs spewed @ soldiers’ funerals but we can’t invoke God’s name in public square,” Palin said via her Twitter account shortly after the Supreme Court announced the decision.
The Topeka-based Westboro Baptist Church, which has no affiliation to any other Baptist organization, sends members to picket funerals of military servicemen who were killed in action. The group’s members believe that the deaths are a punishment from God’s wrath, and carry offensive signs that read, “Thank God for dead soldiers” and “God Hates the U.S.A.”
Justice Samual Alito was the only justice to submit a dissenting opinion, saying that the First Amendment does not protect those who launch “vicious verbal attacks that make no contribution to public debate” during “a time of intense emotional sensitivity.”
In response to the ruling, the group is planning to “quadruple” the amount of protests held at military funerals.