Unreal: Father of fallen Marine forced to pay court costs of Phelps scum that picketed his funeral

posted at 9:57 pm on March 30, 2010 by Allahpundit

Note: “Court costs” aren’t the same as “legal costs.” Legal costs include attorneys’ fees; typically each side pays its own way unless the plaintiff’s suit is held to be frivolous, in which case legal costs may be awarded to punish him/her. Court costs are merely administrative costs, but they follow different rules — and as you’re about to see, they can add up. Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 39:

The following rules apply unless the law provides or the court orders otherwise:

(1) if an appeal is dismissed, costs are taxed against the appellant, unless the parties agree otherwise;

(2) if a judgment is affirmed, costs are taxed against the appellant;

(3) if a judgment is reversed, costs are taxed against the appellee;

(4) if a judgment is affirmed in part, reversed in part, modified, or vacated, costs are taxed only as the court orders.

Snyder won at trial but, as I expected at the time, the case was eventually overturned on appeal on First Amendment grounds. (Ed wrote about it recently.) Lose an appeal and you pay the other side’s court costs — unless “the court orders otherwise.” Why didn’t the court order otherwise in this case given (a) Snyder’s financial circumstances, (b) the fact that the legal question at stake is serious enough to warrant the Supreme Court taking the case, and (c) the manifest indecency of picketing a dead soldier’s funeral? Well, funny thing. They’re not saying:

The Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ordered Snyder on Friday to pay Phelps. A two-page decision supplied by his attorneys offered no details on how the court came to its decision.

The decision adds “insult to injury,” said Sean Summers, one of Snyder’s attorneys.

Snyder is also struggling to come up with fees associated with filing a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, his attorneys said.

The idea behind the federal rule, I assume, is that the courts don’t want to dissuade people from filing potentially meritorious appeals due to fear of court costs. Which makes sense, except that unless your lawyer’s working pro bono, your legal costs will be vastly more expensive than your court costs. So why have a “loser pays” rule for the latter but not the former? And if the worry is that court costs are such a burden that they’ll discourage good appeals from being filed, isn’t it likely that they’ll discourage a few good lawsuits from being filed in the trial court too? If I have to worry about being soaked at the appellate level if I lose, maybe I decide that it’s not worth my while to sue in the first place.

Bill O’Reilly’s already said that he’s going to pick up the tab here, but if you want to donate to Snyder, here’s the website. The Supreme Court case should be fascinating, essentially a sequel to the famous “Hustler” case regarding the scope of the First Amendment in suits alleging intentional infliction of emotional distress. Snyder’s almost certainly going to lose, alas, but for legal junkies, it’s a treat.



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Bill O’Reilly said on the air tonight that he will pay the fine.

sandspur on March 30, 2010 at 10:01 PM

Unfreaking real!

Hilts on March 30, 2010 at 10:01 PM

Well, never mind, I responded to the headline before I got to the end of the post!

sandspur on March 30, 2010 at 10:02 PM

That’s just plain criminal, pardon the pun. That’s not right.

Geronimo on March 30, 2010 at 10:02 PM

Mr. O was outraged and rightly so. Picking up the tab for that is down right patriotic to the nth degree.

Wyznowski on March 30, 2010 at 10:03 PM

Can’t say what I really think of the Phelps people without risking the ban hammer.

Mr. D on March 30, 2010 at 10:03 PM

I have heard that Phelps is a Democrat operative who wants to paint Christians in a bad light…any truth to that?

Conservative Voice on March 30, 2010 at 10:03 PM

someone needs to smash fred phelps and the people in that group.

ousoonerfan15 on March 30, 2010 at 10:05 PM

Poor guy. Hope he finds his peace of mind.

The Phelps clan should go play in traffic with their cute little signs.

Good Lt on March 30, 2010 at 10:06 PM

I admit, I have not been following this.
Also, this group is a disgusting group of individuals. They are not Christian. let alone Baptists.
Having said that,, it is a dangerous path to go down when you try to have a court limit protesters. Especially today.

What if the Supreme court comes out with some kind of decision that basically allows states to severely limit and punish protesting? Could such a ruling be used to stike out against other forms of protest? Tea parties anyone?

Free speech has got to be for everyone or it is for no one.

JellyToast on March 30, 2010 at 10:07 PM

Paying court costs for picketing traitors? What next? Paying for somebody else’s abortions? oops that’s in Obamacare…neverrrrrr mind.

MaiDee on March 30, 2010 at 10:07 PM

No injustice shall go uncorrected. This will be corrected in time. As ridiculous as it sounds, this too will be squared away. I am stunned that this Marine’s father gets stuck with this. He has already paid the bill for freedom for this, now has to pay double. There has to be a double jeopardy ruling or something—where this guy already got charged for freedom, now is getting charged for it again, sort of. A stretch, but injust nonetheless.

ted c on March 30, 2010 at 10:07 PM

Bill O’Reilly’s already said that he’s going to pick up the tab here,

good for you bill

screw phelps

the FCKER cant get hit by a bus fast enough.

POS

blatantblue on March 30, 2010 at 10:07 PM

All I know is, Phelps is no Christian.

Sanjoboy on March 30, 2010 at 10:08 PM

the manifest indecency of picketing a dead soldier’s funeral?

Manifest indecency is not a crime otherwise Joe Biden would be president by now … and president until and unless manifest Foot-N-Mouth because a crime.

MB4 on March 30, 2010 at 10:08 PM

Time to start “clearing the bench” in all 50 states folks!

Judges are the hidden problem we have ignored for WAY TOO LONG!!

katy on March 30, 2010 at 10:09 PM

UnFreagginbelievable!!!

canopfor on March 30, 2010 at 10:09 PM

Not only did he loose his son, a Marine…

… but those in robes that enjoy every benefit of this society, have to pour salt on his wounds.

Why not wait until the SCOTUS either takes the case and makes a ruling?

(Further comments have been deleated by 7% for fear of banishment…)

Seven Percent Solution on March 30, 2010 at 10:09 PM

I hope this story gets very wide coverage so that these people can recoup their costs. I wrote about it this morning and we all need to push this one wide.

Warner Todd Huston on March 30, 2010 at 10:10 PM

Donated this morning.

I don’t do federal court, but the state court level costs include things like deposition fees, subpoena fees, witness fees and the like. A few depositions later, and it adds up pretty fast. In my state, if an offer of judgment is made and the refusing party does not exceed the offer of judgment, then that litigant pays the court costs — not attorney fees.

As a matter of principle, though, I think we need to help out military families in these cases. I’m also thinking there ought to be counter strikes against this bunch of bozos and make their lives miserable. I can’t say that I know how, but we somehow need to put muscle behind our decency.

ObjectionSustained on March 30, 2010 at 10:10 PM

I have heard that Phelps is a Democrat operative who wants to paint Christians in a bad light…any truth to that?

Hmmmmmmm.

Good Lt on March 30, 2010 at 10:10 PM

Could such a ruling be used to strike out against other forms of protest? Tea parties anyone?

JellyToast on March 30, 2010 at 10:07 PM

Count on it.

DasObamaReich on March 30, 2010 at 10:11 PM

JellyToast on March 30, 2010 at 10:07 PM

Freedom of Speech is protected, not the freedom of being heard. They can protest all they want, just not near the family as they bury their son.

Conservative Voice on March 30, 2010 at 10:13 PM

crr, Proud Rino and Jimbo greatly approve of this wise use of jurisprudence and legal protocol.

Good Solid B-Plus on March 30, 2010 at 10:13 PM

Did everyone notice the headline? I think that’s how Mr. Pundit talks when he really dislikes someone. And sometimes he calls them “Champ”.

I hate that Mr. Snyder was going to be burdened with this and I hope he gets more support then he can handle. That said, I would rather see the Patriot Guard stand between the ceremony and those loons then any court order. The sight of Americans standing up for Americans is more powerful then anything.

Cindy Munford on March 30, 2010 at 10:13 PM

The American Legion had also started a fund to pay this; excess donations (which would be all of them, I guess, if O’Reilly is picking up the tab) are set aside to support SCOTUS filings (the Legion is filing an Amicus Brief) and then for other individuals in the same circumstances.

Put yourself in his dad’s shoes

malclave on March 30, 2010 at 10:14 PM

Disgusting.

HornetSting on March 30, 2010 at 10:14 PM

Can’t say what I really think of the Phelps people without risking the ban hammer.

Mr. D on March 30, 2010 at 10:03 PM

I don’t think you can even accurately quote them without the moderation hammer. Scum.

thebrokenrattle on March 30, 2010 at 10:14 PM

Good for you O’Relly! I’m still sending$$ Outrageous.

katy the mean old lady on March 30, 2010 at 10:15 PM

I would not shell over a single penny to that fraud cult leader Phelps! The man is vile beyond description and his so-called church is nothing but a cult that follows his every whim!

As to that judge who ruled this father has to pay these lunatics, he should be thrown off the bench and disbarred without the right to an appeal of his own!

This is not justice, this is madness!

pilamaye on March 30, 2010 at 10:15 PM

I agree with what someone said about the method used in paying the fine. Fill dump trucks with 1.6 million pennies and have them dumped on Phelps’ lawn.

Red Cloud on March 30, 2010 at 10:16 PM

You have to admit that the Phelps case raises interesting 1st amendment issues, similar to (but not identical to) Nazi skinhead marches. Protecting the rights of these scumbags sucks, but banning them could lead to banning other forms of protest as well. Tea Party anyone?

GnuBreed on March 30, 2010 at 10:16 PM

I agree that this is a horrible situation, but isn’t the lesson here that fee-shifting statutes (i.e., “loser pays” rules) are a bad thing? Conservatives argue for loser pays rules all the time. Losing a lawsuit is not the same thing as filing a frivolous lawsuit, as this case shows. The problem is that punishing truly frivolous lawsuit doesn’t save very much in transactional costs because those lawsuits gets dismissed quickly and don’t cost much to defend against. If a suit doesn’t get dismissed quickly then, by definition, its not frivolous.

Anonymous Finch on March 30, 2010 at 10:17 PM

These scumbags are in Kansas, right?
Tiller ‘operated’ in Kansas, right?
What the hell is in the water up there?
I think it’s time for the Phelps to get a taste of their own medicine. Make their lives MISERABLE.

HornetSting on March 30, 2010 at 10:17 PM

If I was Bill O’Reilly I’d write that check in a heartbeat.

marmaran on March 30, 2010 at 10:17 PM

This is not justice, this is madness!

pilamaye on March 30, 2010 at 10:15 PM

pilamaye: Madness it is,I’m still shaking my head,wtf!!:)

canopfor on March 30, 2010 at 10:19 PM

As libertarian as I am, I’m perfectly okay with funeral and cemetery exemptions to the 1st amendment. F*ck it. People don’t deserve to be badgered there.

jimmy the notable on March 30, 2010 at 10:20 PM

Does this Westboro ‘church’ get tax exemption status?
I think it’s time to crawl into the swamp and find out.
Anyone want to take bets that Soro’s money has been given here? Just sayin….

HornetSting on March 30, 2010 at 10:23 PM

Someone explain to me why the RICO Act doesn’t apply to these ‘people’.

Knott Buyinit on March 30, 2010 at 10:24 PM

GnuBreed on March 30, 2010 at 10:16 PM

Again, the right to speak is not the same right to be heard. There is a time and place to protest, as long as the Phelps dirt bags who knowingly use the Lord’s name in vain have a time and place, then their rights have been satisfied.

Conservative Voice on March 30, 2010 at 10:24 PM

As libertarian as I am, I’m perfectly okay with funeral and cemetery exemptions to the 1st amendment. F*ck it. People don’t deserve to be badgered there.

jimmy the notable on March 30, 2010 at 10:20 PM

Honestly, I don’t see a problem with this. As long as the exemption is written in iron-clad language so as to only apply to funerals and other cemetary services, what’s the possible harm to 1st amendment rights elsewhere and in other venues?

There already are 1st amendment exceptions that exist without infringing on other 1st amendment rights.

Good Solid B-Plus on March 30, 2010 at 10:24 PM

I agree with what was said earlier – pay it in pennies. But wrap each one individually in packing tape.

LauraV on March 30, 2010 at 10:24 PM

You know this strains the bounds of decency to an unacceptable level. Besides that, it really pisses me off.

ronsfi on March 30, 2010 at 10:25 PM

I agree with what someone said about the method used in paying the fine. Fill dump trucks with 1.6 million pennies and have them dumped on Phelps’ lawn.

Red Cloud on March 30, 2010 at 10:16 PM

That would make for an amazing campaign. Get 1.6 million Americans to protest the ruling by donating a penny to pay Phelps with haha.

podank on March 30, 2010 at 10:26 PM

HornetSting on March 30, 2010 at 10:23 PM

I think they are all members of the same family so they at least are consider tax deductions. I believe they are the modern example of what happens when there is too much inbreeding.

Cindy Munford on March 30, 2010 at 10:26 PM

Can’t say what I really think of the Phelps people without risking the ban hammer.

Mr. D on March 30, 2010 at 10:03 PM

Agreed. I absolutely loathe the progressive/liberal mind set, and would have been banned 10 times over for what I’d like to say on that subject and to the resident Trolls..

But these inbred psychotic Ba$tards are the lowest form of scum.

In all honesty, I can’t see how some of them haven’t met with an ‘unfortunate’ accident.

BigWyo on March 30, 2010 at 10:27 PM

Someone explain to me why the RICO Act doesn’t apply to these ‘people’.

Knott Buyinit on March 30, 2010 at 10:24 PM

The simple answer is that civil RICO is mostly about committing fraud (mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, etc.). These people are scum, but they didn’t defraud anybody. RICO is not an all-purpose “we don’t like you because you’re bad” statute (thankfully!).

Anonymous Finch on March 30, 2010 at 10:27 PM


I have heard that Phelps is a Democrat operative who wants to paint Christians in a bad light…any truth to that?

Hmmmmmmm.

Good Lt on March 30, 2010 at 10:10 PM

Make sure to check out Good’s link >

http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/al_gore_fred_phelps.jpg

Also from FredPhelps.com

Phelps has run in various Kansas Democratic Party primaries five times, but has never won. These included races for governor in 1990, 1994, and 1998, receiving about 15% of the vote in 1998. In the 1992 Democratic Party primary for U.S. Senate, Phelps received 31% of the vote Phelps ran for mayor of Topeka in 1993 and 1997.

Phelps supported Al Gore in the 1988 Democratic Party primary election.

In his 1984 Senate race, Gore opposed a “gay bill of rights” and stated that homosexuality was not something that “society should affirm”. Phelps has stated that he supported Gore because of these earlier comments. According to Phelps, members of the Westboro Baptist Church helped run Gore’s 1988 campaign in Kansas. Phelps’ son, Fred Phelps Jr., hosted a Gore fundraiser, which Al and Tipper Gore attended, at his home in Topeka. Fred Phelps, Jr. served as a Gore delegate to the 1988 Democratic National Convention. Gore spokesman Dag Vega declined to comment; “We are not dignifying those stories with a response.”

CWforFreedom on March 30, 2010 at 10:28 PM

As libertarian as I am, I’m perfectly okay with funeral and cemetery exemptions to the 1st amendment. F*ck it. People don’t deserve to be badgered there.

jimmy the notable on March 30, 2010 at 10:20 PM

jimmy the notable: For what its worth,here in Canada,
I’m sure if you protested any funeral,
the whole crew would wind up in jail,
with most people,looking upon them as,
what the h*ll is your problem!!

But,on the otherhand,like Ann Coulters
attempt to speak at Ottawa,she was shut
down,so again,us Canadians don’t have the
1st amendment that you Americans enjoy!:)

canopfor on March 30, 2010 at 10:28 PM

LauraV on March 30, 2010 at 10:24 PM

Pay it in pennies, that spells out, “Jack-*$$”

Conservative Voice on March 30, 2010 at 10:28 PM

HornetSting on March 30, 2010 at 10:23 PM
I think they are all members of the same family so they at least are consider tax deductions. I believe they are the modern example of what happens when there is too much inbreeding.

Cindy Munford on March 30, 2010 at 10:26 PM

I concur.

HornetSting on March 30, 2010 at 10:29 PM

I sure am glad Baseball season is about to start…

… I hope to see a lot of spectacular batting this year. You know, the way they really smash the ball and send it into the stands?

Choking up on the bat, and all…

… The smell of pine tar, and a firm grip. Then the “clack” of the bat that gets every one’s attention.

Yeap… I sure am glad Baseball season is about to start.

Seven Percent Solution on March 30, 2010 at 10:30 PM

My problem with the people protesting what the Court did is the intellectual dishonesty of it. The next time someone cheers when a politician says that the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT should IMPOSE a “loser pays” rule on STATE COURTS, conservatives should object strongly because: (1) “loser pays” rules are stupid (as this case illustrates); and, (2) imposing such a rule by federal legislation would be unconstitutional and would violate the commerce clause for all the same reasons that Obamacare does. If you don’t like this outcome, that’s fine–just be consistent the next time “tort reform” is discussed.

Anonymous Finch on March 30, 2010 at 10:31 PM

I just finished saying here that, as much as I personally loathe him, this is one instance where O’Reilly could actually be useful…guess I was behind the curve.

Cylor on March 30, 2010 at 10:31 PM

Every time these inbred bastards try this shiit, local law enforcement should arrest the bunch of them on “disturbing the peace” violations if nothing else is available.

There has to be a sensible way to stop this profane nonsense.

hillbillyjim on March 30, 2010 at 10:33 PM

I think the Phelps are not about religion,

but,a cult!

canopfor on March 30, 2010 at 10:34 PM

I suppose telling the Court no would be out of the question…sigh.

JIMV on March 30, 2010 at 10:35 PM

Good Lt on March 30, 2010 at 10:10 PM
CWforFreedom on March 30, 2010 at 10:28 PM

Aww c’mon…let’s not go there…these fuc%ers are way beyond left/right/dem/rep…I don’t care which party they might be ‘affiliated’ with.

It’s like the leftards painting McVeigh as a right winger.

BigWyo on March 30, 2010 at 10:35 PM

Every time these inbred bastards try this shiit, local law enforcement should arrest the bunch of them on “disturbing the peace” violations if nothing else is available.

There has to be a sensible way to stop this profane nonsense.

hillbillyjim on March 30, 2010 at 10:33 PM

hillbillyjim: Good to hear HBJ,were on the same page!!

Its one thing to be brought up,with
manners and respect,but this kind of be
haviour,has got to be outlawed!:)

canopfor on March 30, 2010 at 10:38 PM

Anonymous Finch on March 30, 2010 at 10:31 PM

A+

I thought I was the only one around here who realized that “tort reform” was not a conservative principle rather was just a misguided and rather crass effort to defund the left.

Since when do conservatives think the political class in Washington should determine how much in damages you suffered when a negligent doctor amputates the wrong leg rather than a jury of our peers as our forefathers intended.

tommylotto on March 30, 2010 at 10:42 PM

This is beyound belief! :(

Dire Straits on March 30, 2010 at 10:44 PM

Well the father of the Marine must chalk this up as another learning experience. What did we learn here? We learned that if a battalion of Marines are deployed (informally dressed of course) to Phelps church/bunker, surround it, turn on some great loud music, you know the kind that freaked out Manuel Noriega …

Talk to me Goose. What’s that you’re saying Gander? Freedom of speech is like the moto of the three Musketeers, kinda sorta. If one group can be protected by the 1st Amendment, then any or all groups/gatherings may also be served as well as protected too.

Americannodash on March 30, 2010 at 10:46 PM

I’m all for frivolous suits being penalized against the plaintiff, but Mr. Snyder didn’t file a frivolous suit here. There was genuine pain and anguish brought; it’s like like he sued for ‘pain and suffering’ because he happened to witness an auto accident or something and ‘felt’ traumatized.

Good for BOR to pick up the tab! And all those willing to donate. I also like the idea of pennies being dropped to make that payment to the poor helpless well-meaning ingrates who dared to disrupt a funeral.

I guess I don’t need to wonder how they’d have been treated had they shown up to Ted Kennedy’s funeral and done the same thing.

Liam on March 30, 2010 at 10:46 PM

“…Not like he sued for pain and suffering…” that is.

Liam on March 30, 2010 at 10:48 PM

This is so disgustingly wrong- it was torture to read it. If I had was not laid off I would donate in a heartbeat. So glad that others can, and that BOR said he’ll pick up the tab.

Maybe we’ll see laws enacted to prohibit disruption of a funeral. Afterall, it’s illegal to interupt a funeral procession on the road.

theenforser on March 30, 2010 at 10:49 PM

This is a great cause!!

mobydutch on March 30, 2010 at 10:50 PM

Since when do conservatives think the political class in Washington should determine how much in damages you suffered when a negligent doctor amputates the wrong leg rather than a jury of our peers as our forefathers intended.

tommylotto on March 30, 2010 at 10:42 PM

A+ right back at you, brother. Let’s not use the tactics of the Left. Let’s be principled and intellectually honest.

Anonymous Finch on March 30, 2010 at 10:55 PM

Afterall, it’s illegal to interupt a funeral procession on the road.

theenforser on March 30, 2010 at 10:49 PM

Actually, funeral processions are going the way of the dodo. It takes a lot of cops to conduct them properly, and there are legal liabilities involved as well.

GnuBreed on March 30, 2010 at 10:59 PM

Can we please get in the habit of referring to him as “DEMOCRAT Fred Phelps“? Cus that’s what he is, and that’s NOT what most people think. Liberals and the media always try to give the impression that he’s a right-wing wacko Republican, when he is actually very much one of their own. He ran for governor as a Democrat, was invited to both of Clinton’s inaugurations by Clinton, and was the state chairman of the Al Gore campaign.

American Elephant on March 30, 2010 at 11:00 PM

Don’t pay the SOB. Or, better yet, pay him in Monopoly money or tell him the money was minted by the gays he despises so.

I say we organize a contingent to picket at Phelp’s funeral when he sheds this mortal coil.

englishqueen01 on March 30, 2010 at 11:04 PM

These scumbags are in Kansas, right?
Tiller ‘operated’ in Kansas, right?
What the hell is in the water up there?
I think it’s time for the Phelps to get a taste of their own medicine. Make their lives MISERABLE.

HornetSting on March 30, 2010 at 10:17 PM

Kathleen Sebelius is from Kansas too!

Oink on March 30, 2010 at 11:06 PM

For those who see this as a 1st amendment issue, lets all storm in the next time there is a state of the union address and cause all kinds of noise and see how it irons out.

Conservative Voice on March 30, 2010 at 11:07 PM

This is merely an analysis on my part but …

This kind of thing didn’t happen 100 years ago and … why didn’t happen?

Because if it had happened – it wouldn’t have gone to court and the police wouldn’t have been involved – some big patriotic guys would just have beaten the hell out of these scum.

I kind of think that’s how the founders intended it to be too.

The reason this kind of thing didn’t happen a hundred years ago is because anyone thinking about such a thing would immediately realize they would get the hell beaten out of them.

Am I wrong here?

HondaV65 on March 30, 2010 at 11:10 PM

American Elephant on March 30, 2010 at 11:00 PM

Again, I hate the Democrat Party and what they’ve become..hanging these freaks around the DemoTard’s necks just don’t fly.

There’s plenty of things wrong with the Democrats, and this ain’t one of them.

But I’m sure that they’d be the first one’s to say ‘Wait, let’s try and understand what they are trying to put forth’.

Gah…

BigWyo on March 30, 2010 at 11:10 PM

tommylotto on March 30, 2010 at 10:42 PM

there should be tort reform…not in the form of a pay czar but reform is needed. Like the payment should be no more than the victims life insurance policy.

Conservative Voice on March 30, 2010 at 11:10 PM

Good for Bill O.

Whenever these scumbags come up, I always like to watch this again.

Pablo on March 30, 2010 at 11:11 PM

HondaV65 on March 30, 2010 at 11:10 PM

People had manners, it didn’t require a whip.

Conservative Voice on March 30, 2010 at 11:11 PM

Thank you Mr O’Reilly.

I have a question. Church grounds and cemetaries are private property correct? Why can’t the military supply the funeral director/cemetary the biggest contractor tarp(s) or green screens made and erect them around the church or cemetary grounds so that the family doesn’t have to see the insane phelps family? Your guaranteed the right to protest, your not guaranteed that your target audience will see your display. And then fine the phelps family from here to eternity if they violate private property rights.

And there has to be some arcane law on the books about funerals somewhere that could help military families. Let’s find it.

journeyintothewhirlwind on March 30, 2010 at 11:11 PM

The reason this kind of thing didn’t happen a hundred years ago is because anyone thinking about such a thing would immediately realize they would get the hell beaten out of them.

Am I wrong here?

HondaV65 on March 30, 2010 at 11:10 PM

No. But I would think ‘shot’ would be closer to the result.

But in this day and age, we should both have some minor thoughts as to getting hauled in just for these two posts.

BigWyo on March 30, 2010 at 11:16 PM

what is this world and the UNITED STATES coming to, please, someone tell me… this is total BS and I AM MAD AS HELL

foxone on March 30, 2010 at 11:18 PM

People had manners, it didn’t require a whip.

Conservative Voice on March 30, 2010 at 11:11 PM

Yeah I think there was some of that going on – but it’s hard for me to believe that they totally lacked this hysterical side that we see today from guys like this. Somehow that side was repressed – and I think you’re right about the manners – but I also think there was a fear that their neighbors would “calibrate” their attitude if they did stupid things like this.

My grandfather was a Catholic – he didn’t like the Klan down here in the South – but he told me a story about a man who had a wife and three kids that he neglected. He ran around with other women, spent money like a Sailor while his kids wore rags to school.

Klan got ahold of him one night and beat him senseless – then told him they’d come back and finish the job if he didn’t start caring for his family. My grandfather said the man took his family to town to buy new clothes the next day and he flew straight after that.

I dunno man. I think someone could do a thesis on the role of forceful peer pressure and it’s role in American societal organization in early American history. It’s just a thought I have – it could be completely off base.

HondaV65 on March 30, 2010 at 11:20 PM

This…is when “loser pays” really stinks.

Under normal circumstances I’d consider it a good idea to reign in our sue-happy society. But these aren’t quite normal circumstances.

Dark-Star on March 30, 2010 at 11:23 PM

But in this day and age, we should both have some minor thoughts as to getting hauled in just for these two posts.

BigWyo on March 30, 2010 at 11:16 PM

Well … neither you or I are arguing to go out and do any harm to anyone. I’m just wondering where all the idiots came from today? Why didn’t they have this kind of thing happening 100 years ago?

How many people protested WWII? I know some people were against it – so why weren’t there more protests? If WWII were fought today there would be hellacious protests going on over it. I know from some of the stories my grandparents told me – all of their qualified men were in the Armed Forces fighting and some even died – if the ones at home had seen a protester with a sign – I don’t think they would have lasted long.

Just from the stories they told me.

The question is – how do you stop this kind of stupidity without resorting to violence outside the law? There’s got to be a way.

It’s just wrong what these guys are doing at these funerals – it’s just wrong.

HondaV65 on March 30, 2010 at 11:28 PM

This…is when “loser pays” really stinks.

Under normal circumstances I’d consider it a good idea to reign in our sue-happy society. But these aren’t quite normal circumstances.

We all agree that the family of the deceased, and the deceased himself, are heroes. We also all agree that Phelps & Co. are the lowest form of a pond scum.

But we also all need to agree that both of the preceding facts are completely irrelevant to the underlying First Amendment question and the application of the costs provision of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. If you want to start applying the rules differently because we really, really like one party and really, really dislike another party, then we are applying our own version of the “empathy” standard that we were all complaining about last year when Obama nominated Sotomayer to be on the Supreme Court.

LET’S BE CONSISTENT!!

Anonymous Finch on March 30, 2010 at 11:32 PM

Was flipping through the channels and saw Bill O’Reilly’s commentary on this. He stated that he was going to pay the court costs himself. Very nice of him.

strictnein on March 30, 2010 at 11:33 PM

And, I should have read through the comments first since someone already mentioned it. Oh well.

strictnein on March 30, 2010 at 11:33 PM

Anonymous Finch on March 30, 2010 at 11:32 PM

I am consistent, the right to free speech isn’t not a right to be heard. As long as Phelps had a time and place to do his song and dance, then his rights aren’t violated if removed so that common decency rules the day.

Conservative Voice on March 30, 2010 at 11:35 PM

It’s just wrong what these guys are doing at these funerals – it’s just wrong.

HondaV65 on March 30, 2010 at 11:28 PM

I agree…it’s painfully wrong.

Most people with just a smidgen of common sense would say the same.

Things will work out.

BigWyo on March 30, 2010 at 11:38 PM

If anyone pickets this so called church, the MSM will label them right wing nuts, tea partiers, conservatives, and dangerous villians. Then, big sis would be forced to call in the homeland security team.

mobydutch on March 30, 2010 at 11:39 PM

Anonymous Finch on March 30, 2010 at 11:32 PM

I am consistent, the right to free speech isn’t not a right to be heard. As long as Phelps had a time and place to do his song and dance, then his rights aren’t violated if removed so that common decency rules the day.

Conservative Voice on March 30, 2010 at 11:35 PM

But this case isn’t about “removing” him. No one tried to remove him. This case is about whether you can sue, after the fact, for intentional inflict of emotional distress. That’s a very, very difficult first amendment issue. To my knowledge, the last time that issue was before the Supreme Court was when Larry Flynt ran a fake Capri ad claiming that Jerry Falwell had lost his virginity to his mother in an outhouse. When asked under oath whether he intended to inflict emotional distress on Falwell, Flynt said absolutely yes, he was trying to “assassinate” Falwell’s character. The Supreme Court rules, correctly I think, that state tort law of emotional distress cannot be used to ex post facto to punish unpopular speech.

Will this case come out the same way? I don’t know. Should it come out the same way? I don’t know. Should the case turn on which party we like and which we don’t like? Absolutely not.

Anonymous Finch on March 30, 2010 at 11:46 PM

Yes, it is a cult under the guise of a church in Topeka, composed mostly of extended family and a few other nut jobs. All the Phelps and their kids are lawyers and they go out of their way to get money from anyone that dares to interfere with lunacy.

Sooner or later there will be a cosmic correction. That will be a funeral that all of Kansas and most of the nation will celebrate.

Highplains on March 31, 2010 at 12:04 AM

HornetSting on March 30, 2010 at 10:17 PM
Kathleen Sebelius is from Kansas too!

Oink on March 30, 2010 at 11:06 PM

Tiller was one of her favorite contributors.

HornetSting on March 31, 2010 at 12:05 AM

The last time I posted, AP nearly hit me with the ban hammer.

So… I wish Mr. Snyder’s attorneys well. [end]

wccawa on March 31, 2010 at 12:09 AM

What if there just isn’t a solution this this issue? Outrage is good. Browbeat the spineless judges. Push back hard against the Phelps group. Practice a bit of civil disobedience. A society is allowed to demand forms of civil decency. But ultimately, public protest is too important a freedom to restrict even in cases like this. Flip this around and it would be easy to see Tea Party consequences.

Metanis on March 31, 2010 at 12:10 AM

Go over to Drudge! 0bama is going to open the east and west coasts to oil drilling!

Mirimichi on March 31, 2010 at 12:21 AM

Fighting words” defines desecrating a funeral for a fallen hero with lunatic, vicious, irrational, slanderous, demented, psychotic, theocratic crapulous drivel.

Purulent Phelps and his sleazy, slimy, diseased weasels should be prohibited from picketing anywhere near a cemetary during such a sacred service.

They can exercise the right to be world-historical low-life uber-a$$hats elsewhere, and not in the face of people under the most extreme emotional duress.

They’re lucky members of the cortege didn’t peel off and righteously kick their sorry behinds out of the area.

profitsbeard on March 31, 2010 at 12:27 AM

Why does it take SCOTUS so long to hear a case and then another year to issue a verdict?

I swear, I’ve never understood how courts can be SO painfully slow.

TheBlueSite on March 31, 2010 at 12:35 AM

I agree with what someone said about the method used in paying the fine. Fill dump trucks airplanes with 1.6 million pennies and have them dumped dropped on Phelps’ lawn church from 10,000ft.

Red Cloud on March 30, 2010 at 10:16 PM

FTFY

Vic on March 31, 2010 at 12:35 AM

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