July 28, 2015

"If they come here to Louisiana, they try to disrupt this funeral, we're going to lock them up. We're going to arrest them."

"They shouldn't try that in Louisiana. We won't abide by that here. Let these families grieve. Let them celebrate their daughters, their children, their spouses, their loved ones' lives in peace. They better not try that nonsense here."

Said Bobby Jindal, on "Face the Nation," when the host asked him about the threat by the Westboro Baptist Church that it would use funeral service for those who died in the Lafayette theater shooting as a setting for another one of its incomprehensibly offensive protests.

I was struck by Jindal's complete avoidance of any reference to the free-speech rights of protesters (though his use of the phrase "disrupt this funeral" may represent his careful thinking about the scope of First Amendment rights).

Notably, the Westboro folks opted to stay out of Louisiana.

45 comments:

rhhardin said...

I think they make their money with lawsuits and the LA juries are not going to give them much.

James Pawlak said...

Are acts equivalent to falsely shouting "FIRE!" in a crowded theater Both increase the physical risk to others beyond free speech protections.

Curious George said...

"Notably, the Westboro folks opted to stay out of Louisiana."

Damn, and garage mahal had his I Tappa Kegga T-shirt washed and his Econoline filled up with gas for the road trip.

YoungHegelian said...

Notably, the Westboro folks opted to stay out of Louisiana.

I suspect it was fear of vigilante violence more than LA police that made the Westboro crew avoid LA.

Them Cajun boys loves them some firearms.

The Cracker Emcee said...

Probably the realization that that the Louisiana State Troopers would have the governor's license to kick the shit out of them had something of a deterrent effect on the Westboro freaks. Realpolitik, for sure.

Bay Area Guy said...

Good for Louisiana!

Shouting Thomas said...

I don't approve of what the Westboro Church does.

Do you know why the founder started his crusade?

His children couldn't walk through a public park in Kansas City without encountering gay men fucking in the bushes.

Freeman Hunt said...

Interesting. Their business is to sue places that deny them permits or otherwise infringe on their rights. There must be something specific about this case that made it unprofitable.

I suspect it was fear of vigilante violence more than LA police that made the Westboro crew avoid LA.

I doubt it.

Perhaps the money was already made. They may figure they can already get a settlement from officials telling them to stay home. Or a permit was denied. When that happens, their work is done apart from filing the lawsuits and collecting the cash.

Bobber Fleck said...

It's sad that we tend to see events through the prism of civil rights and law suits and fail to see them in terms of common decency and civility.

traditionalguy said...

Hurrah for the Confederacy rising again in Louisiana through an Indian immigrant who must never have heard of Tecumseh Sherman's methods of enforcement of the US Constitution.

Larry J said...

I remember driving to the airport about 10 years ago and seeing a bunch of those Westboro assholes protesting a military funeral. As I passed them, I thought it was a pity that I was no longer in the Army with access to hand grenades.

I did hear a funny story about them from a few years ago. They were being their normal asshole selves protesting a military funeral. Someone took a dislike to them (imagine that) and flattened all four tires on their van. No one in town would fix their tires, leaving them stranded. Seriously, I'm surprised much worse things have not happened to them over the years. From what I've heard, they're a bunch of shakedown artists who file a lot of lawsuits. They deserve whatever bad things happen to them.

Static Ping said...

As I understand it Louisiana has a law against disrupting funerals. The gov may have been precise with his words for a reason.

But, yes, good luck convicting anyone in Louisiana who would be arrested for making it clear that the Westboro folks were not welcome. And even if they were convicted, the gov might just pardon them. Tragic.

Anyway, given recent events it's clear that we are a lawless nation. Goose, gander, etc.

Michael K said...

"common decency and civility."

The US Supreme Court pretty much made those obsolete. Justice Kennedy put it well.

"Justice Kennedy’s majority opinions in Windsor and Obergefell preemptively accused anyone who opposed redefining marriage to include homosexuals of being “offensive,” “hateful.” Refusal to honor homosexual unions, he wrote, is not “explicable by anything except animus.”

Yes, common decency and civility are gone.

David said...

Assholes have rights too.

But I do like the flattening tires part.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

In GA they showed up at a funeral and several local groups, among them cycle clubs, got together and surrounded the Westboros, holding up blank signs and (if I remember correctly) singing loudly to both block and drown out the WBC's messages.

I don't know if that really counts as "more speech" or a "heckler's veto," but it's hard to disapprove either way.

glenn said...

The reluctance of the Westboro folks to go to Louisiana may have more to do with biker gangs and the proximity of deep water than what the Governor said.

furious_a said...

Interestingly, Fred Phelps was a registered Democrat and frequent primary candidate in Kansas.

furious_a said...

In Louisiana, pedestrians and motor vehicle operators must yield right-of-way to funeral processions, with some exceptions. When I visit family in Shreveport, I've seen every car in the vicinity stop entirely at the side of the road, regardless of the direction the procession is travelling. Seems downright respectful.

David Begley said...

These losers came to Omaha this Spring to protest at the funeral of a young mother policewoman who was killed in the line of duty. The entire metro area was crushed. The funeral was broadcast on live local TV. The funeral procession was miles long. No lie.

Marty Conboy, and his wife, constructed some clever blocking curtains using white bedsheets and poles. The sheets had a stylish blue strip. Conboy was the City of Omaha prosecutor and a friend from childhood.

Screw those losers. They will all burn in hell.

And, yes, they have made money on Section 1983 lawsuits. Lawfare.

Dan Hossley said...

Why should Jindal address the "free speech rights" of the Westboro thugs? He's under no obligation to do so.

The Godfather said...

Suppose a pro-gay rights group announced it was going to demonstrate at a funeral somewhere, and the government officials announced that they'd be arrested if they did.

Discuss the media coverage of the event.

Dr.D said...

Almost anything can be hidden forever in the swamps, including bodies. LA is not a very good place to cross the locals.

Also, LA law is different from that of all the rest of the US because it is based on French law. For those of us from the outside, it is extremely difficult to comprehend a legal document in LA. I once bought a home in northern LA, and I could not understand most of the language in my note, both because of the general legal philosophy and also the strange terminology (Do you know what a usefructuary is? I do now, but I did not know at the time.)

amielalune said...

Dr. D -- I guess you can say the bodies are "hidden forever" as soon as they are digested by the gators.

Drago said...

furious_a: "Interestingly, Fred Phelps was a registered Democrat and frequent primary candidate in Kansas."

One of the reasons the Westboro folks don't get more airtime. Goes against the preferred narrative.

Billy Oblivion said...

Shouting Thomas said...
> I don't approve of what the Westboro Church does.

Of course you don't.

> Do you know why the founder started his crusade?

Yeah, he was lawyer and needed money.

> His children couldn't walk through a public park in Kansas City without encountering gay men fucking in the bushes.

He's a liar as well as a lawyer.

Paul said...

' Free speech' isn't free. Lots of people died for it.

If the Westboro Church goes there to disrupt, I suggest the Louisiana police just walk off and let the populace have there way with them.

Keep in mind folks the police have no duty to protect any one individual (so says the Supreme Court.)

I'm sure the folks at the funeral would love to have a chat with them.

richard mcenroe said...

I'd have a hard time mourning if the Westboro Baptist Church got what they got in "Kingsman".

richard mcenroe said...

Fred Phelps was Al Gore's Kansas campaign manager in his Congressional days.

Mac McConnell said...

Shouting Thomas

It was Gage Park in Topeka , Kansas not Kansas City. Gage Park is only blocks away from the Phelps' "compound".

If one wants to meet them in a non-protest mode just go to a Kansas Democrat Jefferson-Jackson Day celebration.

Gahrie said...

Just because you have the Right to do something, doesn't mean it is the right thing to do.

The creeps at Westboro have the Right to protest. But they don't have the Right to be assholes. Sometimes when people behave like assholes you have to persuade them to stop acting like assholes. Sometimes that persuasion can get violent.

MadisonMan said...

But they don't have the Right to be assholes

Everyone has the right to be an asshole, or rude, or whatever you want to call it.

Most people are taught better. Or don't have a personality designed to provoke.

Gahrie said...

I'll compromise and say that you have a right to be an asshole, but not a Right.

And that I have the right to treat you like the asshole you are.

Delayna said...

"I'd have a hard time mourning if the Westboro Baptist Church got what they got in "Kingsman"."

If that happened, I'd have a hard time finding enough champagne.

Pretty sure the shortages would be nationwide.

Carnifex said...

Billy Oblivion said--He's a liar as well as a lawyer.

Sir. You repeat yourself.

Damn that was good/ ;)

Unknown said...

What needs to happen is for a group of citizens to beat them to within an inch of their lives. No grand jury would indict them.

Nichevo said...

Let's say they picketed, oh, Biggie's or Tupac's funeral and got drive-by'd. If you caught the shooters you could both prosecute and sue, but most gangbangers are probably not deep pockets outside of their flash cash. Whether or no, is LAPD, NYPD or some other large entity then targetable, because failure to protect or to anticipate violence?

If not, I can see why nobody protested at Tupac's funeral. But why no vigilante justice elsewhere? People too decent?

...and surely it is usufruct not usefruct?

Nichevo said...

Unk, might not go to jail but Team Phelps don't care for that, they want money. Think they can't find a good setup for a lawsuit in such a case? Again though, depth of pockets, so they probably sue the city for fail in R2P. No?

The great thing about killing them would be that they can't sue. Beatings, they may be too stupid or stubborn to learn from.

Nichevo said...

...of course, killing them would be WRONG! ;-|

Nichevo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mishu said...

I've always wondered if they were a false flag operation. Has the public more sympathy for homosexuals since they came on the scene?





Yes I knew what I was doing there.

The Grey Man said...

We don't play that crap here. I'm pretty sure we can still use the "but he NEEDED killing" defense.

Clinton said...

Free speech to me means just that. They have the right to say and do these things. That goes without saying. But that doesnt exempt them from the social consequences of their actions. There are times when i miss the 'fighting words' being a legal concept in this country.

Andrew Pardue said...

Dr D has the right of it I think, since Louisiana uses civil law instead of English Common law. The Phelps legal team would be out of their depths in LA.

Unknown said...

This is how to deal with the Westboro crazies.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/06/texas-am-students_n_1653002.html

Joseph Corlett said...

Our service people people fight for all Americans rights regardless of the popularity of their views and Jindal pisses on their efforts. He's a disgusting son-of-a-bitch.