Funeral Protest Follow-Up

My latest FindLaw column analyzes the First Amendment issues presented by the verdict against the Westboro Baptist Church et al for their offensive display at the funeral of a marine killed in Iraq. As I note in the column, the size of the judgment may be reduced on appeal, but the finding of liability will probably hold up.

I received an email today from the editor of Prison News, who pointed me to an article on the Phelps family (the people that mostly comprise the Westboro Baptist Church). It seems that (for shame) many are lawyers and/or work in the Kansas penal system. Go figure. The article can be found here but you need to register and log in to read it. Here's my favorite bit:
As one writer put it, the church members also rejoice in the 9/11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina, the tsunami that devastated Asia two years ago, and AIDS. They believe God hates Santa, Jews, Catholics, Muslims, soldiers, me, and if I had to guess, they probably believe that God hates you. Apparently Phelps and his followers believe they are the only people whom God doesn't hate.

Posted by Mike Dorf