This is a discussion on More BS from the "Westboro Baptist" freaks within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Dead Marine's father ordered to pay protesters' legal costs - CNN.com Dead Marine's father ordered to pay protesters' legal costs By Emanuella Grinberg, CNN March ...
Dead Marine's father ordered to pay protesters' legal costs - CNN.comI calls BS to the bolded!Dead Marine's father ordered to pay protesters' legal costs
By Emanuella Grinberg, CNN
March 30, 2010 11:06 p.m. EDT
Westboro Baptist Church members picketed the funeral of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, who died in Iraq in 2006.
* Father of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder calls order to pay legal costs "slap in the face"
* Westboro lawyer says order consequence of lawsuit, says money will fund protests
* Snyder's family sued Westboro Baptist Church for protesting Marine's funeral in 2006
* 4th Circuit reversed judgments against Westboro in '09; high court will hear case
(CNN) -- The father of a Marine whose funeral was picketed by the Westboro Baptist Church says an order to pay the protesters' legal costs in a civil claim is nothing less than a "slap in the face."
"By the court making this decision, they're not only telling me that they're taking their side, but I have to pay them money to do this to more soldiers and their families," said Albert Snyder, whose son, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, was killed in action in Iraq in 2006.
Members of the fundamentalist church based in Topeka, Kansas, appeared outside Snyder's funeral in 2006 in Westminster, Maryland, carrying signs reading "You're going to hell," "God hates you" and "Thank God for dead soldiers."
Among the teachings of the church, which was founded in 1955 by pastor Fred Phelps, is the belief that God is punishing the United States for "the sin of homosexuality" through events such as soldiers' deaths.
Margie Phelps, the daughter of Fred Phelps and the attorney representing the church in its appeals, also said the money that the church receives from Snyder will be used to finance demonstrations. But she also said that the order was a consequence of his decision to sue the church over the demonstration.
"Mr. Snyder and his attorneys have engaged the legal system; there are some rules to that legal engagement," said Phelps, a member of Westboro who says she has participated in more than 150 protests of military funerals.
"They wanted to shut down the picketing so now they're going to finance it," she said.
The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday ordered that Snyder pay more than $16,000 in costs requested by Westboro for copies of motions, briefs and appendices, according to court documents.
In a motion filed in October, Snyder's lawyer, who is representing him for free, asked the court to dismiss the bill of costs, or, alternatively, reduce the 50-cent fee per page or charge Snyder only for copies that were necessary to make their arguments on appeal.
"We objected based upon ability to pay and the fairness of the situation," Sean Summers said.
The mostly pro-forma ruling is the latest chapter in an ongoing legal saga that pits privacy rights of grieving families against the free speech rights of demonstrators, however disturbing and provocative their message.
Snyder's family sued the church and went to trial in 2007 alleging privacy invasion, intentional infliction of emotional distress and civil conspiracy. A jury awarded the family $2.9 million in compensatory damages plus $8 million in punitive damages, which were reduced to $5 million.
Westboro in 2008 appealed the case to the 4th District, which reversed the judgments a year later, siding with the church's claims that its First Amendment rights had been violated.
"The protest was confined to a public area under supervision and regulation of local law enforcement and did not disrupt the church service," the circuit court opinion said. "Although reasonable people may disagree about the appropriateness of the Phelps' protest, this conduct simply does not satisfy the heavy burden required for the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress under Maryland law."
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case to address issues of laws designed to protect the "sanctity and dignity of memorial and funeral services" as well as the privacy of family and friends of the deceased.
The justices will be asked to address how far states and private entities such as cemeteries and churches can go to justify picket-free zones and the use of "floating buffers" to silence or restrict speech or movements of demonstrators exercising their constitutional rights in a funeral setting.
Both Phelps and Snyder's attorney said they were surprised that the 4th District chose to weigh in on the issue of legal costs when they could have waited until after the Supreme Court hearing.
Phelps believes the ruling bodes well for her side.
"It is a good harbinger of the fact that the Supreme Court will remind this nation that you don't have mob rule. The fact that so many people hate these words does not mean you can silence or penalize them. That's supposed to be the great liberty that we congratulate ourselves on protecting in this nation. We strut all around the world forcing people to give all the liberties we supposedly have," she said.
Phelps anticipated that a Supreme Court ruling in the church's favor would be unpopular, but she said Westboro's members viewed the potential outcome in Biblical terms.
"When the Supreme Court unanimously upholds the 4th Circuit, it's going to put this country in a rage, and we will be expelled," she said. "But whenever it was time for an epic event in the Bible, the thing that happened right before is the prophets were removed from the land, and that's what's going to happen to us. ... We're going to sprint to the end of this race."
Snyder claims he is unable to pay any legal costs in the case and is attempting to raise funds on his son's site, Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder. He is equally optimistic that he will prevail before the Supreme Court.
"The American people keep my spirits lifted a lot and give me hope. I think most of the country is on my side on this issue," he said. "Too many people have died to protect our rights and freedoms to have them degraded and spit upon like this church does."
CNN's Bill Mears contributed to this report.
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+1 to JD's comment
This is disgusting! Our judicial system has problems.
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
I'll double that...
Proverbs 27:12 says: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”
Certified Glock Armorer
NRA Life Member
Well, I'm a Baptist, and also served in Vietnam. The God I know would not have you disrespecting the dead, or harassing the living in their time of grief. I belived that this Baptist Church is about as close to the Baptist religion as the fanatical Muslims are to the Muslim religion.
We got some laws passed in MN to prevent protests within a certain distance of funerals. These barf bags were pulling this crap up here too. We also have a Motorcycle club called the Patriot Guard Riders who provide escorts to military funerals. They hold up sheets and American Flags to block the view of the protesters and use their loud exaust to drown out their voices. They will also engage the protesters if things get out of hand. The Patriot Guard Riders are A+ in my book.
My GLOCK goes BANG every time!
You know, if I was ever driving by one of those protests in my semi, it'd be a darn shame if I should just sneeze and lose control of my vehicle, accidentally running over the whole lot.
Yep, a darn shame that would be.
Seriously, those people make me physically ill. I'm just at a loss for words right now.
"Stand your ground, don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here!" - John Parker April 19th, 1775 Lexington, MA
I think I would be protesting outside THEIR church.
Heck, I would probably go dust off the old '70 Stratocaster, go buy a Marshall 2466 100-watt head and two 4x12 cabinets and set up with a band of buddies across the street and give them a long, loud dose of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple each and every Sunday, bright and early......
"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry
Why these guys dont have homosexuals protesting their church 24/7 is beyond me.
My GLOCK goes BANG every time!
Last night O'Rielly said he was outraged over this too, and promised to cover the $16,000 for Snyder. Hopefully this will go to the Supreme Court and get overturned on appeall.
It is a crying shame this fallen hero's father has to endure all this BS!
Id pay these butt wipes with a dump truck full of pennies.
My GLOCK goes BANG every time!
O RILEY set to step in and pay if needed
I've ridden many missions with the Patriot Guard Riders escorting our heroes to their final resting places. Only once has this maggot crowd shown up. It was quite impressive to see later on film. The PGR lined up shoulder to shoulder between the demonstrators and the church and silently & slowly marched toward the street. When they realized that they had no effect on the service and looked like fools, they left.
Treat me good, I'll treat you better. Treat me bad, I'll treat you worse.
Phelps and his entourage are a bunch of scumbags. Most of the congregation is made up of Phelps' extended family.
These Baptists aren't very Christian. I bet Jusus would open a can of whup-ass on them.
"If we loose Freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the Last Place on Earth!" Ronald Reagan