Margie J. Phelps represents Westboro Baptist Church, and yes, before you ask, she hates you, she really hates you. She most likely hates the six Catholics and three Jews up there on the bench, too. But she hides it well....I absolutely agree with Dahlia Lithwick about this.
Scalia wonders whether these signs and Web posts could be unprotected words under the fighting words exception to the First Amendment, but Phelps says this protest was never intended to provoke a fight. Channeling Stephen Colbert, she says their message is just this: "Nation. Hear this little church. If you want them to stop dying, stop sinning."...
The headline writers are going to say that the justices "struggled" with this case. That may be so, but what they struggled with has very little to do with the law, which rather clearly protects even the most offensive speech about public matters such as war and morality. They are struggling here with the facts, which they hate. Which we all hate. But looking at the parties through hate-colored glasses has never been the best way to think about the First Amendment. In fact, as I understand it, that's why we needed a First Amendment in the first place.
October 6, 2010
"It appears that at least a few of the justices really, really, really just hate the Phelps family and its manner of protest..."
"... and they might even be willing to whip up a little new First Amendment law to prove it."