Westboro Baptist Church Funeral Protests Protected by First Amendment, Supreme Court Rules

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The controversial activities of the Westboro Baptist Church culminated in a near-unanimous Supreme Court decision in March 2011. Snyder v. Phelps (U.S. 2011). In an 8-to-1 ruling, the Court held that Westboro members could not be held liable for the emotional distress caused by their demonstration at the funeral of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, a 20-year-old soldier killed in Iraq. According to the Court, regardless of how offensive the protestors’ activities may be, they are fully protected by the First Amendment.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Nicole Hyland, Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz | Attorney Advertising

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