Thursday, October 7, 2010

Phelps v. Snyder heard by the Supreme Court.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/07/us/07scotus.html

I thought this case would have been settled in favor of the Phelpses a long time ago. But, hopefully it will be heard by the Supreme court and they will finally give the Phelps their justice.

The Phelps were doing their regular thing and protesting the funeral of a recently dead war vet. With the typical array of "God Hate Fags" and "Thank God For Iraq" signs. The father of the deceased saw the signs later after the funeral on the news and was distraught and sued the Phelps family and won an 11 million dollar judgment.

So at hand is whether the courts as an arm of the government have the right to punish the Phelps family solely on the content of their speech. At issue is whether the dissemination of unpopular speech is permitted if it hurts somebody's feelings.  That's obviously not something that should ever stop free speech.

I get some things like when free speech causes serious danger like yelling "Fire" in a theater or with regards to volume of the speech. You can't drive around a neighborhood in the middle of the night with a megaphone, regardless of the content of the speech. Here, what is at issue is entirely the content of the speech. Can you say things that make people feel bad. I hope you can, because I do that all the time. Am I really open to a lawsuit if I mock zombie Jesus and hurt somebody feelings?

Edit: bad verbage. 

4 comments:

Sparrowhawk said...

"At issue is whether the dissemination of unpopular speech is permitted if it hurts somebody's feelings. The answer is obviously hell no."

Are you sure you worded this the way you meant to? It sounds like you're saying free speech isn't permitted if it hurts somebody's feelings, which--if indeed that is what you meant--surprises me.

Sparrowhawk said...

Posting again so I can subscribe.

Buster said...

This is clearly a case of disrespect.
Free speech? you are free to say what you like but not what the opposition likes. Man you surely a demented.

Tatarize said...

You are free to say what you want. That's the point of free speech. But nobody stops a person from saying something popular. It's only the unpopular speech that ever needs protection.