Snyder V. Phelps No

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Snyder v. Phelps No. 09-751
131 S. Ct. 1207 (2011)
Argued October 6, 2010
Decided March 2, 2011
On March 10, 2006 the Westboro Baptist Church picketed the funeral of fallen Marine, Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder. The Snyder family sued the Church, accusing them of defamation, invasion of privacy by intrusion upon seclusion, and infliction of intentional emotional distress, a tort under state law. On October 6, 2010, Snyder v. Phelps No. 09-751 was brought before the courts. The Justices’ of the court did not reach a decision until March 2, 2011 (Oyez Project).
Fred Phelps and the members of the Westboro Baptist Church believe that God is punishing the United States for its tolerance of homosexuality, especially in America’s military. For the past 20 years they have picketed many military funerals across the country. They also condemned the Catholic Church for the scandals involving their clergy. On March 10, 2006, at Matthew Snyder’s funeral, Fred Phelps and six other members of the church, all of which were his family, peacefully displayed their signs which stated, “Thank God for Dead Soldiers,” “Fags Doom Nations,” “Priests Rape Boys,” “Semper Fi Fags,” God Hates You,” Pope in Hell,” and “Thank God for 9/11” (Cornell). Prior to picketing this funeral the members of the Westboro Church notified the authorities to insure the fact that they would not be violating any laws. They staged the picket on public land adjacent to a public street, 1,000 feet away from the church the
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