The decision was 8-1. Justice Samuel Alito dissented.
Article at Fox News:
“Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and — as it did here — inflict great pain,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his majority opinion. “On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker. As a nation we have chosen a different course — to protect even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate.”
“Our profound national commitment to free and open debate is not a license for the vicious verbal assault that occurred in this case,” Alito wrote. “In order to have a society in which public issues can be openly and vigorously debated, it is not necessary to allow the brutalization of innocent victims like petitioner. I therefore respectfully dissent.”
Ranting will serve no purpose.
This ruling doesn’t just apply to Westboro. It’s covering all military and maybe even civilian funerals and ceremonies.
Private cemeteries can protect families by suggesting or offering ‘invitation-only’ ceremonies and placing guards/security at property lines. It’s quite a nice tidy legal way of doing things.
Military cemeteries are public property, ‘owned’ by The US Government – meaning ‘We the people’ – and with this ruling are now required to let anyone and any group protest and/or pay respects to the fallen.
As a proud member of The Patriot Guard Riders – an organization founded to peacefully and silently counter the Westboro group – we only attend ceremonies when directly requested to do so.
Many times, families wish to be left in privacy and mourn a lost loved one / celebrate a homecoming by themselves. They are now full-on targets for anyone and any group of hateful, spiteful and even dangerously violent people.
Things are going to get ‘interesting’ at a minimum.
As a side note, many states, including here in Florida, have “stand your ground” laws and regulations that benefit law-abiding citizens. I’m wondering how many of these hateful, spiteful and even dangerously violent people are aware of that little fact.
God Bless America and those who gave all to keep her free. You and your families are protected by those of us who will always stand for you and The Flag.
Patriot Guard Riders
Standing for those who stood for us.