From Judicial Watch:
(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch, the public interest group promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law, announced today that a U.S. District Court in Missouri denied a request by the American Civil Liberties Union lawyers made on behalf of a member of the Westboro Baptist Church to prevent the state from enforcing its statute limiting protests “in or about” the location of funeral services (Shirley L. Phelps-Roper v. Jeremiah W. Nixon, et al., No. 06-cv-4156-FJG). The ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law on behalf of protesters who disrupted military funerals by picketing and conducting other protest activities.
The court order, issued by federal Judge Fernando J. Gaitan, Jr., essentially adopts Judicial Watch’s argument that Missouri’s “funeral protection law” is well-grounded in Eighth Circuit judicial precedent and is consistent with the U.S. Constitution. Moreover, Judge Gaitan specifically cites Judicial Watch’s amicus brief concerning the right of family members and friends of those killed in battle to mourn their loss. The judge writes: “…amicus Judicial Watch notes that Missouri also has an interest in protecting funeral attendees’ First Amendment rights to free exercise of religion.” Judge Gaitan ruled that the ACLU’s client failed to demonstrate a “likelihood of success on the merits” of her arguments. Her request for a preliminary injunction was, therefore, denied.
“We’re pleased the court seems to recognize the right of funeral attendees to mourn those who died defending our country without being disrupted by protesters,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Unlike the ACLU, most Americans believe that mourners should be able to engage in quiet and reflective prayer at funerals. As the court noted, ‘…picketing soldiers’ funerals and belittling the sacrifices made by soldiers are intolerable actions…’”
This is a long time coming. I mean how long before someone puts one of these right wing nut jobs in the hospital?
Stop the ACLU is also reporting on this story