There are always several matters before various courts pertaining to Westboro.






One is the Snyder matter:


March, 2006:  Westboro picketed the funeral Matthew Snyder.


Ocober, 2007:  The Snyder family won $11 million from Westboro.


February, 2008:  Judgment reduced for $11 million to $5 million.


September, 2009:  Reversed on appeal.  (Snyder family ordered to reimburse Westboro $16 thousand of court costs.)


March, 2010:  The United States Supreme Court agreed to hear the final appeal.


October 6, 2010:  The U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments – ruling to follow.


December, 2010:  (at the earliest) Either the Snyder family will get $5 million from Westboro or Westboro will get $16 thousand from the Snyder family.


My opinion:  I hope the Snyder family wins and that hundreds of other military families take advantage of the precedent.






Another is the Missouri law that provides a 300-foot buffer around funerals:


August, 2005:  Westboro picketed the funeral of Edward Myers.


March, 2006:  Mo. Rev. Stat. § 578.501 is enacted.


July, 2006:  Westboro sues.


Monday, August 16, 2010:  Westboro wins.  The Missouri law is struck down* by a federal district court.


The next day, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced he would take the matter before the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.  (Case 10-3076.)  The only appeal after that is to the U.S. Supreme Court which may decline to hear it, though AG Koster commented that the Supreme Court appears eager to adjudicate the matter.


My opinion:  I am glad Westboro won in the district court and I hope Westboro wins in the appeals court.  Let them have their free speech and their religious freedom.  The Patriot Guard Riders will confront them on the street with our free speech rights and we will do it at the invitation of the family.  That is the American way.


It is wrong to tell someone where he must stand based on what is written on the sign he is holding.  That is NOT the American way.





*The court (highlighting mine) writes:



Although this Court is sympathetic to Defendants’ argument that attendees at a funeral are a captive audience and are deserving of some level of protection, the Court finds that the Eighth Circuit’s opinion in Olmer controls. To the extent that the Supreme Court may overrule Olmer when it considers Phelps v. Snyder, that issue is for another day.


In regard to State Defendants’ argument that the state may have an interest in protecting the safety of mourners and protesters at funerals, the Court agrees that the State Defendants have not demonstrated that this was an issue considered by the legislature at all.


Frankly, the Court cannot believe that the state was particularly interested in “protecting” the safety of protesters such as Plaintiff when it enacted this law. In particular, the court agrees with Plaintiff that it would be curious for the state to attempt to protect people from the consequences of their speech by criminalizing that speech.**



Therefore, the Court finds that Defendants have not demonstrated that R.S.Mo. § 578.501 serves a significant government interest. As failure to meet this criteria renders the statute unconstitutional, the Court finds that Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment (Doc. No. 183) must be GRANTED as to this issue.


However, given that the Supreme Court may consider a similar issue regarding government interest in Snyder v. Phelps in the near future, the Court will analyze whether R.S.Mo. § 578.501 is narrowly-tailored.






**At the Antonik Mission in Crystal Lake, I visited the intersection of East Crystal Lake Avenue and Highway 31 before going on to the funeral.  Shirley and three other Westboro folks were standing on the northwest corner.  The police were there too.


The police told me that I was not allowed on the northwest corner.  I took photos from the other three corners and left.


Why couldn’t I go to the northwest corner?  I wasn’t aggressive or even rude.  I was not holding a sign.  I was holding a camera.  I am a free man in a free country.  Why did the police prevent me from approaching my fellow citizens?


I have approached Shirley and talked to her under the watchful eye of police numerous other times.  Since another couple was allowed to visit the northwest corner minutes after I was refused, I can only conclude that the police reacted to my motorcycle.


And that is not the American way, either.






  Two suburban Chicago Marines who were killed in Afghanistan are being honored in California.

Lance Cpl. Kevin Oratowski of Wheaton died this week when an improvised explosive device when off. Military officials say the 2005 Glenbard South High School graduate was a light armored vehicle crewman. He was 23.

Cpl. Christopher J. Boyd of Palatine died this week while supporting combat operations in Helmand province. He was 22 years old and a 2006 graduate of Palatine High School.

Both are being honored in California because of their ties to Camp Pendleton.  Flags at the California capitol will be at half-staff through Sunday for Oratowski. Flags in Sacramento, Calif., will be flown at half-staff for 72 hours in honor of Boyd starting Monday.



On Friday, Kevin Oratowski arrived at Dover.


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On Saturday, Chris Boyd joined Kevin there.


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Also Saturday, Jodie Evans held another fundraiser for the terrorists.  Back in February, 2008, when her Code Pink group advocated the expulsion of Marine recruiting from Berkeley, she told a Gold Star mom:  “Your son deserved to die in Iraq if he was stupid enough to go over there.”  
























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photoshopped by the author