Looks Like The ACLU AND God Hates Fags

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by GotZoom, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. GotZoom
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    GotZoom Senior Member

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    The ACLU. What a classy organization.

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    KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A Kansas church group that routinely protests at military funerals across the country filed a suit in federal court Friday, claiming the Missouri law banning such pickets infringed on the members' religious freedoms and right to free speech.

    Missouri's law bans picketing and protests "in front of or about" any church, cemetery or funeral establishment from an hour before a funeral begins until an hour after it ends. A number of other state laws and a federal law, signed in May by President Bush, bar such protests within a certain distance from a cemetery or funeral.

    The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Jefferson City. It will test lawmakers' ability to target the Rev. Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church, constitutional scholars say.

    "I told the nation as each state went after these laws that if the day came that they got in our way, that we would sue them," said Phelps' daughter, Shirley Phelps-Roper, the lead plaintiff and a spokeswoman for the Topeka-based church. "At this hour, the wrath of God is pouring out on this country."

    The church claims God is allowing soldiers, coal miners and others to be killed because the United States tolerates homosexuals. Westboro Baptist has outraged mourning communities across the U.S. by showing up at soldiers' funerals with signs that read "God Hates Fags."

    In the lawsuit, the ACLU claims the wording of Missouri's ban, which restricts protests "about" any funeral establishment, seeks to limit the group's free speech based on the content of its message.

    The plaintiffs ask the court to declare the ban unconstitutional and to issue an injunction to keep it from being enforced, which would allow the group to resume picketing.

    The suit names as defendants Gov. Matt Blunt, Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon and Mark Goodwin, a prosecuting attorney for Carroll County.

    A Nixon spokesman said the state would mount a major legal defense.

    "We're not going to acquiesce to anything that they're asking for in this lawsuit," said Scott Holste. "We will aggressively defend Missouri's law against this challenge."

    Missouri lawmakers were spurred to action after the church protested in St. Joseph last August, at the funeral of Army Spc. Edward Myers. The law makes violation a misdemeanor, with fines and possible jail time that increase for repeat offenders.

    Phelps-Rogers' attorney said that though he disagreed with Westboro's message, the group had a right to spread it.

    "This law really was made to silence a particular group, and I'm able to see that that's dangerous," said Anthony Rothert, ACLU legal director in St. Louis. "It may be a group that I disagree with that the government is trying to silence today, but it could be a group that I agree with tomorrow."

    First Amendment scholars said the Missouri challenge could give pause to state legislators writing similar bills.

    "Government has no interest in restricting protests that aren't disruptive and are peaceful," said David Greene, executive director of the First Amendment Project in Oakland, Calif. "I would guess this question will be tested in a few different forms."

    Phelps-Roper, who is also an attorney, said the church would fight other laws which members felt restricted their free speech rights, and hoped to resume protesting in Missouri soon.

    http://www.kansas.com/mld/kansas/15095418.htm
     
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  2. Bonnie
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    Bonnie Senior Member

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    What strange bedfellows the ACLU makes..It's so easy for them to talk out of both sides of their collective mouths. Of course any ACLU defender will tell you they are doing this to be true to their mission and should be applauded :scratch:
     
  3. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    I can understand the whole free speech aspect of the thing. However, I think the protests in front of funerals constitutes harrassment. Funeral homes and cemetaries are private property, and it would be perfectly understandable to want the government to boot out people making a nuisance of themselves in the road in front of your house. I think they have a case, but I also think that case will lose.
     
  4. Nuc
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    Nuc Senior Member

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    The ACLU advocates the "right to privacy" in regards to abortion. Well, if a funeral is not private and peoples grief is not private, what is?
     
  5. cgd75
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    cgd75 Rookie

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    Yes, even the poisonous, treacherous rhetoric of the "Reverend" Fred Phelps, is protected by the 1st amendment...

    I think in the ACLU's case, it would be wrong if they left it alone. As bad as it is and as it looks, they have a right to protest, public or private.

    Yet, condemning the ACLU is SO MUCH EASIER to do than telling those Westborough baptist freaks to "FUCK OFF"...
     
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  6. GotZoom
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    GotZoom Senior Member

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    Missouri passed a law that bans picketing and protests "in front of or about" any church, cemetery or funeral establishment from an hour before a funeral begins until an hour after it ends.

    Sounds like a pretty big "Fuck Off" to me.
     
  7. cgd75
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    cgd75 Rookie

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    It is, but I'm talking about Phelps' message...IMO, I hope he meets a most fiery end...if Karma is anything...

    what Missouri banned is the right to protest. You can't do that. It's unconstitutional.

    But then again, any judge who finds and rules the way I just described: ACTIVIST.

    If the ACLU didn't have the "U" in its, acronym, I wonder how people would feel about them, in the wake of 20+ years of union busting and smashing...
     
  8. GotZoom
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    GotZoom Senior Member

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    Not necessarily:

    There are certain well-defined and narrowly limited classes of speech, the prevention and punishment of which have never been thought to raise any constitutional problem. These include the lewd and obscene, the profane, the libelous, and the insulting or "fighting words" those which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. It has been well observed that such utterances are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality.

    — Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 1942

    Also:

    R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, 1992: The court went on to say that while the government can regulate the mode of delivery of the ideas (time, place, and manner), it cannot regulate the ideas themselves. In more recent decisions, the court has held that fighting words must "reasonably incite the average person to retaliate" and risk "an immediate breach of the peace" or they could not be prohibited.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighting_words

    Missouri is not telling Phelps that he can't picket; he just can't picket an hour before, during or an hour after.
     
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  9. cgd75
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    cgd75 Rookie

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    So, the groundskeepers get to see people protesting...

    all semantics aside, who's at a funeral one hour before or after the ceremony?

    It looks as if the Missouri court has banned protest, and made it look like they haven't, because, again, to do so would be unconstitutional.

    Hooray semantics!!!:banana:
     
  10. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Whether or not you agree with WOT, IF your brother, cousin, sister, friend had served and was killed, would you want these MF outside the funeral home, saying their death was because the miltary had 'don't ask, don't tell?' That god had allowed them to be killed because of that?

    Seems something just has to do with taste in general, for the family.
     

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