The Spectacle Blog

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Westboro Baptist Church

By on 3.2.11 | 10:01AM

The Supreme Court ruled that the Westboro lunatics -- a "church" made up primarily of Fred Phelps' family -- have the right to picket fallen soldiers' funerals. On the one hand, I agree with Chief Justice John Roberts that the First Amendment protects even vile speech. On the other, there is something to Justice Sam Alito's dissent that this amounts to a vicious verbal assault more than legitimate speech. As was the case in the neo-Nazi march through a community of Holocaust survivors, I'm uneasy with the argument that defecating on people's graves constitutes free speech -- especially if the right to punch such people in the nose isn't similarly protected.

What do you think?

Send to Kindle

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article

More Articles From Jonathan S. Tobin, W. James Antle III