No limits to free speech

Mar 022011
Authors: Collegian Editorial Board

In a decision on Wednesday, the Supreme Court upheld the First Amendment rights of the Westboro Bapist Church protestors who picket at the funerals of dead soldiers.

The church is out of Topeka, Kan., and the picketers are known for their “God hates fags” signs. The father of a dead soldier sued the group, claiming that the protestors caused him duress and that he should have the right to bury his son in peace.

Though we feel the protests are despicable and disgusting, we agree with the Supreme Court decision that the group cannot be sued.

In this country, it is the most controversial speech that should be protected. And the can-of-worms that could have been opened if the ruling were different could have very detrimental effects.

The fact that Westboro and its leader, Fred Phelps, demonstrate peacefully and on public property is not illegal, as outrageous as it may be. Their venue and language used is neither productive nor informative, but again, it is not illegal.

We commend the Supreme Court for making the right decision, but we reject the group’s rancid, hate-filled speech at arenas where the most honorable and respected Americans should be memorialized.

 Posted by at 4:07 pm

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