Good To Know: The Story Of Snyder Vs. Phelps

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The United States Supreme Court has taken a case that pits two competing and important interests. The decision they will make in the case will be historic, one way or the other. Tonight, Don tells us the story of “Snyder V. Phelps.”

Matt Snyder was a lance corporal in the Marine Corps when he was killed in Iraq in 2006. At his burial, Fred Phelps and a band of followers showed up carrying signs saying “Fag Troops,” “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” and “Pope in Hell.”

There is no indication Corp. Snyder was gay. This case pits the right of privacy against the right of freedom of speech. Does Phelps have a right to protest at funerals? Do the Snyders have a right to not be harassed by nut jobs during a time of grief?

It is always tough when the court must decide which of two fundamental rights is pre-eminent. The first amendment does its best work when it defends speech with which we disagree. I would defend the First Amendment with my last breath. But, this case really tests my resolve.

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