Green Room

Outrage: fallen Marine’s dad forced to pay Fred Phelps

posted at 11:49 am on March 30, 2010 by

This is absolutely outrageous.

In a decision likely to strike many observers as cruel, a federal appeals court ordered the father of a Marine killed in Iraq whose funeral drew protesters from a church notorious for such demonstrations to pay the church leader’s $16,510 in legal fees.

… Snyder won his case against Westboro in the lower court but that decision was overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in September.

Losers in such cases often are made to pay legal fees and the appeals court may have just been following that common practice.

Just because something is commonly done doesn’t mean it to be done every time. It’s bad enough the Fred Phelps and his band of lowlifes are emerging victorious in this. The judge apparently wants to rub salt into the hero’s father’s wound. I just cannot believe that a judge can be so heartless and cruel.

Well, I can, but it doesn’t make me any less angry.

The family is having trouble raising money to pay their legal fees already. This is certainly not going to help. They have set up a website in memoriam to their son here, and you can also make donations to them. I hope that they receive an overwhelming show of support. I hope the Snyders know that all decent Americans appreciate his son’s sacrifice and stand behind them, and not Fred Phelps.

I am just furious at the indignity of this. A fallen hero’s father is being forced to pay thousands of dollars to Fred Phelps. This is an outrage. It’s beyond an outrage.

UPDATE: Just saw that The American Legion is going to help the Snyders out. Way to go, guys. (However, please don’t let that keep you from helping the Snyders out if you can.)

Cross-posted from Cassy’s blog. Stop by for more original commentary or follow her on Twitter!

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Expletive deleted.

WitchDoctor on March 30, 2010 at 12:24 PM

As an attorney, and someone who strongly defends the 1st Amendment, I don’t get the reasoning in this decision, front to back.

In many places, there is such a thing as “fighting words”, recognized as speech that is intentionally provocative.

Maybe this is one of the surprisingly large number of situations where the law fails, and direct action is required.

Beating the dog-spit out of the Wrong Rev. Phelps could be the solution the next time he pulls this outrage.

Ragspierre on March 30, 2010 at 12:26 PM

My husband is a Patriot Rider and his group has put up flag lines against these people at funerals. My heart aches for the Snyders and pray God will be with them. That so called church group will be judged by a Higher Judge. Funds will be sent by our home.

letget on March 30, 2010 at 12:29 PM

Rarely has a lynch mob been so sorely needed.

MadisonConservative on March 30, 2010 at 12:36 PM

My comment is seriously awaiting moderation.

John the Libertarian on March 30, 2010 at 12:39 PM

Hopefully, some responsible citizens will make certain that the inbred Westboro vermin will find $16,510 worth of unexpected property damage to spend their ill-gotten gains on.

It would be a sin for some scum-sucking lawyer to end up with this money.

Jaibones on March 30, 2010 at 1:17 PM

It would be a sin for some scum-sucking lawyer to end up with this money.

Jaibones on March 30, 2010 at 1:17 PM

Speaking of scum-sucking lawyers, you know who Shirley Phelps-Roper is, Jai? I’m pretty sure she represents the Westboro Baptist Church in matters of law, and I know she’s a lawyer related to Fred Phelps by blood…

Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

gryphon202 on March 30, 2010 at 1:35 PM

I recommend he pay it in pennies. Maybe pennies delivered in barrels of tar, or something.

joe_doufu on March 30, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Joe, I’m thinking they should be paying it in pennies in barrels of HIV positive human blood.

Rorschach on March 30, 2010 at 2:17 PM

This is so unspeakable, it’s a complete raping of this fine hero’s memory by hate-mongering officialdom. Who is this judge and who appointed him?

Western_Civ on March 30, 2010 at 4:54 PM

What. The. F@#$.

Midas on March 30, 2010 at 8:54 PM

I’d get banned…
Words fail me.

docjohn52 on March 30, 2010 at 9:46 PM

joe_doufu on March 30, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Rorschach on March 30, 2010 at 2:17 PM

Actually, I think rolls of quarters would work better. Delivered by hand. Know what I’m sayin’?

Cylor on March 30, 2010 at 10:24 PM

Upon further consideration…as much as I loathe the man personally, this is one instance where Bill O’Reilly could actually be useful.

Cylor on March 30, 2010 at 10:26 PM

I don’t know why this should bother you. This is what Coulter and her clan want to do to every American that loses a lawsuit.

Observation on March 31, 2010 at 6:11 PM