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Which way do you think the Supreme Court will rule?

Which way will the Supreme Court rule?


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repeter

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Following the Supreme Court case of Snyder v. Phelps, in which the Phelps family protested outside the funeral of a Cpl. Snyder. Snyder's father filed suit for emotional distress, and in the original case, and the first appeal, the judges ruled in favor of the Snyder family. The last appeal saw the judge throw out the charges Snyder brought on the grounds of First Amendment rights. Now, the case is being reviewed by the Supreme Court.

I recently read a news article about this, in which Justice Scalia, Justice Alito, and Chief Justice Roberts stated they were looking for a way to rule in favor of the Snyder family; clearly Snyder have the moral high ground. But at the same time, the facts of the case heavily favor the Phelps family. They were exercising their First Amendment rights, a certain distance away from the funeral, and they stated that they were not attacking Cpl. Snyder personally, but rather the entire war effort, or something to that effect.

The two choices for the SC are that they establish new doctrine (or extend existing doctrine) for curtailing free speech rights, or they uphold our rights to speech/religion/petition. Here are two articles, the first one which I indirectly cited earlier, and the other one following up on it.
High court: Does father's pain trump free speech?
Funeral protesters make their case in and outside Supreme Court

My question to you: which way do you think the SC will rule, and why?
 

Josie

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Phelps - freedom of speech. As much as those people make my skin crawl, they still have the right to speak their hate.
 

Your Star

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I think they will, and should rule in favor of the Phelps. Free speech wins, everytime. The Phelps family are horrible hateful people, and I disagree with their message with every fiber of my being, but the first amendment is more important than this horrible family. We shouldn't cut down our rights, because of them. They are not that important, lets not make them that important. They will go away, but if we limit free speech, we may never get it back.
 
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repeter

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I agree with both of you. In a legal sense, this case should undoubtedly go to the Phelps, unless the Justices can find something that legitimately backs up the Snyders. While they do have until Spring of next year, I don't think they'll find anything unfortunately.
 

Kandahar

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They'll rule in favor of Phelps. This isn't the first case to be brought to the Supreme Court dealing with offensive speech. Precedent is pretty well-established in this area, and the Supreme Court almost ALWAYS comes down on the side of freedom of speech. I would be truly surprised if they reversed such a long-standing precedent just because Phelps is a mean guy.
 

repeter

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They'll rule in favor of Phelps. This isn't the first case to be brought to the Supreme Court dealing with offensive speech. Precedent is pretty well-established in this area, and the Supreme Court almost ALWAYS comes down on the side of freedom of speech. I would be truly surprised if they reversed such a long-standing precedent just because Phelps is a mean guy.
Because of how important it has been in previous cases, do you think the context of the situation might influence their decision, and help them find in favor of Snyder?
 

repeter

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Following up on the link Rightin posted, if you look at the article by Leslie Griffin, the conclusion sums it up nicely I think. To satisfy an emotional, and moral need in this case, the Supreme Court might "constitutionalize the law of libel, emotional distress and privacy in one big ruling."

Since most of the article went way over my head, what does everyone else think?
 

molten_dragon

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Hopefully they will rule in favor of the phelps family. As distasteful as what they were doing is, the right to free speech protects their ability to do it.
 
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