Wednesday the Supreme Court overwhelmingly ruled in favor of the controversial Topeka, KS Westboro Church. With the 8-1 ruling, it has echoed across the United States in such a fashion that people are almost as outraged at the Court as they are with the picketing and hateful speech.
This ruling however, probably should have never made it to the Supreme Court. It should have been a cut and dry ruling in favor of Westboro. And, while a super-majority of the American people disagree with that, they do certainly have the right to free speech so long as it is on public property. If it was on private property, this ruling could have swayed the other way.
Justice Samuel Alito, the lone dissenter, said Snyder wanted only to “bury his son in peace.” Instead, Alito said, the protesters “brutally attacked” Matthew Snyder to attract public attention. “Our profound national commitment to free and open debate is not a license for the vicious verbal assault that occurred in this case,” he said.
However, this ruling does fall in line with previous court decisions.
“The bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment,” Roberts said, quoting the flag-burning ruling by liberal icon William J. Brennan Jr., is that the government cannot punish words or ideas “simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.”
If you wish to read the entire Supreme Court ruling on the case, click HERE. (PDF)