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U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of WBC:

 51 Black Humor, Thu, 3rd Mar '11 4:09:11 PM from Zombie City
And why not?

It's already been well established protesting at a church (or protesting a church period) is protected, and that offends some people much more than protesting at a funeral.

It's already been established by the Supreme Court that burning a flag is protected, which also gravely offends some people.

It's even been established that a Nazi protest in a Jewish suburb is protected, which would of course massively offensive to everyone who lives there.

The point of the first amendment is that "offensive" doesn't matter. Either you can offend everyone, or no one, or the government has to make rules about who's okay to offend and who isn't.

I know which I think is the least of those three evils.
I'm convinced that our modern day analogues to ancient scholars are comedians. -0dd1
 52 Tuefel Hunden IV, Thu, 3rd Mar '11 4:21:55 PM from Wandering. Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Watchmen of the Apocalypse
I still think the Scorched Earth Approach is the only way to get the point across.

Except there are limits where your intent is harm, harassment, and defamation.

edited 3rd Mar '11 4:22:48 PM by TuefelHundenIV

"Who watches the watchmen?"
 53 shimaspawn, Thu, 3rd Mar '11 5:33:30 PM from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
And there are places that legally restrict protests during a funeral and a little on both sides within a certain radius. If they're in one of those places, they can't protest during the funeral. They can protest up to 30 minutes before hand, and 30 minutes afterwards, but not during. So far, that sort of law has been proven legal.

edited 3rd Mar '11 5:33:43 PM by shimaspawn

Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
The Joke-Master
[up] I think I've also heard of laws (probably on the state or city level, so it will vary, of course) mandating that they be at least a certain distance (like 1, 000 feet) from the funeral while protesting.
Peace is a myth. Equality is a lie.
 55 shimaspawn, Thu, 3rd Mar '11 5:42:03 PM from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
Yep. They have their right to free speech. They just can't infringe on anyone else's right to free speech.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
It's easy, mmkay?
I know it might be "sinking to their level", but I just love the idea of just about the entire world coming to protest at Fred Phelp's funeral, and everyone laughing the WBC out of court when they try to sue the protesters.
At first I didn't realize I needed all this stuff...
The US gov't can and has restricted speech. The proverbial fire in a crowded theater is one example. Obscenity laws still exist in many places. Alito's dissent mentioned another, 'fighting words', like going into a Catholic Church and yelling that the Pope is a pedophile.

Alito was right. What kind of regime allows some jerks to intrude themselves into someone else's private affairs with their obnoxious and unwanted opinions?
 
 58 Pykrete, Thu, 3rd Mar '11 7:17:54 PM from Viridian Forest
NOT THE BEES
Most of the examples of restricted speech are those that might cause immediate physical harm to someone, like inciting a panic or mob anger in a crowded area (IIRC fighting words is focused on those things that would instigate physical violence, and is pretty shaky), or a news crew leaking military movements.

Restricting opinions is something quite different.

edited 3rd Mar '11 7:21:09 PM by Pykrete

 59 Black Humor, Thu, 3rd Mar '11 7:59:56 PM from Zombie City
You can't go into a Catholic church and yell that the Pope is a pedophile because that's essentially an incitement for the churchgoers to beat you up.

You can certainly protest the various sexual abuse scandals in or near a Catholic church.
I'm convinced that our modern day analogues to ancient scholars are comedians. -0dd1
 60 Barkey, Thu, 3rd Mar '11 8:09:14 PM from Bunker 051 Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
War Profiteer
Alito was right. What kind of regime allows some jerks to intrude themselves into someone else's private affairs with their obnoxious and unwanted opinions?

Obnoxious and Unwanted is not grounds for being made illegal. Fire in a crowded theater runs the risk of someone getting trampled to death, that's why it's outlawed. I hate these guys to my very core, I hate them on a cellular level, especially as I'm one of the groups they harass the most. But making it flat out illegal is a slippery slope that I would never want to tread, ever.

Now what I would like to see, is a little vigilantism take care of this little problem, in the form of a gangland assassination on the entire Phelps household, and mysteriously nobody being caught.

Roll up in the middle of the night with a good escape plan and some shotguns and submachineguns, break down the front fucking door and brutally murder all of them, then take off.

Normally this would make them martyrs, but I don't think anybody gives a shit about WBC.
The AR-15 is responsible for 95% of all deaths each year. The rest of the deaths are from obesity and drone strikes.
 61 Mark Von Lewis, Thu, 3rd Mar '11 9:25:40 PM from Somewhere in Time Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
KCCO
I tell ya if they ever protest the funeral of someone I know, then they will be on the receiving end of some high-velocity lead.
"It's a story. It's a version of the truth, the extended dance mix." -Lew Ashby
 62 Barkey, Thu, 3rd Mar '11 11:29:39 PM from Bunker 051 Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
War Profiteer
Here's our best defense.
The AR-15 is responsible for 95% of all deaths each year. The rest of the deaths are from obesity and drone strikes.
 63 drunkscriblerian, Thu, 3rd Mar '11 11:40:33 PM from Castle Geekhaven Relationship Status: In season
Street Writing Man
@Barkey: That is awesome. Biker veterans FTW![awesome]
If I were to write some of the strange things that come under my eyes they would not be believed.

~Cora M. Strayer~
 64 Cojuanco, Thu, 3rd Mar '11 11:44:25 PM from Riverside, CA, US
Student
[up][up][up][up]Actually, what is more likely is that first, the priest will kindly ask them to leave. Then if they refuse to do so, the ushers will move toward the offender, and ask them to leave. Failing that, they then seize him, take him out of the nace, and then restrain him while someone calls the police, and the Mass continues as planned. Now will a lot of the parishioners want to beat them up? Sure, but they probably won't, unless the offender gets totally out of control.

edited 3rd Mar '11 11:45:38 PM by Cojuanco

 65 Barkey, Thu, 3rd Mar '11 11:58:40 PM from Bunker 051 Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
War Profiteer
What we need to do is hire private security at cemetery grounds(I would think they already do) and have them able to ask them to leave, I would think they already should have the rights to do that.
The AR-15 is responsible for 95% of all deaths each year. The rest of the deaths are from obesity and drone strikes.
 66 Morven, Fri, 4th Mar '11 2:31:04 AM from Seattle, WA, USA
Nemesis
It's definitely worth remembering that they are very, very careful not to break laws. It's obvious, from what I've heard, that their protestors have been heavily trained to be as offensive as possible without giving anyone cause to do something to them and get away with it. They're always careful never to insult specific living individuals, just categories of people, for instance.

They are, effectively, RL trolls.
A brighter future for a darker age.
 67 Tuefel Hunden IV, Fri, 4th Mar '11 2:51:17 AM from Wandering. Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Watchmen of the Apocalypse
I love the Patriot Guards.

Hey Vets made motorcycle clubs popular in the U.S. The boom took off after WWII. So seeing a bunch of them doing this and are both veterans and bikers is not all that surprising.

Really the best defense is to shield the families at the funerals from these hateful loons.
"Who watches the watchmen?"
 68 Barkey, Fri, 4th Mar '11 3:11:56 AM from Bunker 051 Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
War Profiteer
Air Force pilots actually started the Hells Angels, believe it or not.
The AR-15 is responsible for 95% of all deaths each year. The rest of the deaths are from obesity and drone strikes.
The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you.
You need to Get Known to get one of those.
Total posts: 68
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