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Reply #8: Even kooks have constitutional rights [View All]

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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-29-10 06:01 PM
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8. Even kooks have constitutional rights
March 26. 2010 6:59AM
Tribune Media Services

... Phelps followed all police directions and local ordinances. In fact, Matthew Snyder's father, Albert Snyder, didn't actually see any of Phelps' signs until he watched the footage on television.

Later, Phelps' church also published an "epic" on its Web site titled "The Burden of Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder" that claimed Matthew was taught to "defy his creator" and that his parents had "raised him for the devil." Albert Snyder saw the disturbing material after Googling Matthew's name.

Snyder sued for intentional infliction of emotional distress and won a $5 million judgment, including millions in punitive damages against Phelps.

But the judgment was set aside by a federal appellate court last year. The upshot of the ruling by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals was that the First Amendment protects distasteful speech on matters of public concern such as homosexuality, the military and religion ...
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