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?
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