Thursday, March 3, 2011

Justices Rule for Protesters at Military Funerals

Justices Rule for Protesters at Military Funerals
Published: March 2, 2011
The First Amendment protects hateful protests at military funerals, the Supreme Court ruled in an 8-to-1 decision.
Click title for link to New York Times story on yesterday's Supreme Court decision.  I am surprised at the decisive 8-1 decision, but the Supreme Court has always held that freedom of speech is one of the more important rights granted to us through the Bill of Rights.  As offensive as this sort of demonstration is and the hatefulness represented by this "church," it is still protected speech.  I hope that we keep this in mind when we experience some "over the top" displays of freedom of expression around town and in public meetings.

From the article:

"Chief Justice Roberts used sweeping language culled from the First Amendment canon in setting out the central place free speech plays in the constitutional structure. “Debate on public issues should be robust, uninhibited and wide-open,” he wrote, because “speech on public issues occupies the highest rung of the hierarchy of First Amendment values.