Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Supreme Court ok's hate speech at private funerals

Not animal law... but a very important rights case nonetheless...

In a predictable - but still disappointingly narrow-minded - decision, the U.S. Supreme Court announced today that the free speech rights of a Kansas church to protest at a fallen soldier's funeral trumps his grieving father's right to mourn for his son in peace.

The Associated Press has details.

Very sad, if you ask me. And needless. The court could have held (as Justice Alito did in his dissent) that there was enough evidence of the protesters targeting this soldier's funeral to find that this was a private matter, not a matter of public concern. Or, as other commentators have also suggested, perhaps the court could have even upheld free speech rights but found that these odious protests cross some other boundary, such as harassment.

In light of this ruling, last year's decision overturning the crush video ban in favor of free speech is even more troubling. If the court can't even find a balance to show compassion to humans, it is hard to imagine that it could ever possibly be a receptive climate to seeking compassion for (non-human) animal issues.


Unknown said...

This is really a crazy issue. Free speech is such a tough subject. Hard to find the right answers where such issues are concerned.

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Tim Little said...

I think our service men and women deserve all we have given to them and this should include a free funeral