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Eshlemon
08-13-2012, 05:14 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/13/opinion/free-speech-at-military-funerals.html?ref=opinion&pagewanted=all


President Obama signed a new law last week that broadens federal limits on protests at military funerals for members or former members of the Armed Forces. The changes cover services held in private places as well as military cemeteries.

The new statute comes after the Supreme Court’s 8-to-1 decision in Snyder v. Phelps last year, which ruled that the First Amendment protects the right of picketers to protest at military funerals if they are addressing public issues. But Congress and many states have not taken that ruling to heart, and have, instead, created laws that may well impinge on the free speech of protesters.


The new federal statute is more carefully written, and, unlike some state laws, it does not address specific protesters, like members of the Westboro church. The buffer zone established remains between 300 and 500 feet from the funeral depending on its location.

But the law is more restrictive than the previous one. The time window doubles to two hours before and after, and one element of the statute raises serious questions about its evenhandedness. It forces protesters who violate a term of the law to prove that they did not intend to disturb the peace, shifting the burden of proof from the government. The provision is so vague that it lets police choose whom they consider troublemakers among protesters. Lawbreakers can be fined up to $50,000 and imprisoned for up to a year.



Westboro, Code Pink, and the like at funerals are scum but even as it leaves a bad taste in my mouth agreed with the Supreme Court . And the Supreme Court did provide leeway for the government with an opinion reasonable limits of time, distance, etc. can fall within regulatory powers of government. Looks like the governments are testing the courts reasonable limits and restrictions and will likely get challenged now. Especially the states which target specific protestors and the federal shifting the burden of proof from the government.

Locke
08-13-2012, 05:18 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/13/opinion/free-speech-at-military-funerals.html?ref=opinion&pagewanted=all







Westboro, Code Pink, and the like at funerals are scum but even as it leaves a bad taste in my mouth agreed with the Supreme Court . And the Supreme Court did provide leeway for the government with an opinion reasonable limits of time, distance, etc. can fall within regulatory powers of government. Looks like the governments are testing the courts reasonable limits and restrictions and will likely get challenged now. Especially the states which target specific protestors and the federal shifting the burden of proof from the government.

Agreed. As much as I'd love to see those miserable excuses for human beings tossed into jail and made into some lifer's girlfriends, this is going too far. People who behave like this are going to get what's coming to them, regardless. My bet is a distraught family member snaps and kills one of them, but I guess that's not relevant. What is relevant is this leaves the opportunity to infringe on the rights of U.S. citizens in other ways, most of which we may not even realize until it happens. I don't like it...

Eshlemon
08-13-2012, 05:49 PM
Agreed. As much as I'd love to see those miserable excuses for human beings tossed into jail and made into some lifer's girlfriends, this is going too far. People who behave like this are going to get what's coming to them, regardless. My bet is a distraught family member snaps and kills one of them, but I guess that's not relevant. What is relevant is this leaves the opportunity to infringe on the rights of U.S. citizens in other ways, most of which we may not even realize until it happens. I don't like it...

IMO, think the courts will rule you can't pick and choose protestors and the burden of proof and stick with their other opinion, time, place, etc are acceptable. But there is a part of me that the Justices are going to say, look we gave you some leeway, you can't be trusted with any of it, and including time,place,etc designations.

Locke
08-13-2012, 06:01 PM
IMO, think the courts will rule you can't pick and choose protestors and the burden of proof and stick with their other opinion, time, place, etc are acceptable. But there is a part of me that the Justices are going to say, look we gave you some leeway, you can't be trusted with any of it, and including time,place,etc designations.

It's tough to say. Every time I think I'm getting a good feel for how they will rule, something like the Healthcare vote happens and throws everything I thought I knew out the window. My preference would be to keep the status quo and let the local residents handle it, which they've been pretty effective at doing. I like the rule about being a certain distance away, which helps immensely. Anything past that is risky. The more gray area they leave in laws like this, the more interpretation is allowed, and that's where issues arise. It's best to avoid it all together and stay with what works...

Wildbill3
08-13-2012, 06:10 PM
Honestly there is a time and place for everything. I don't feel protesting at a funeral is the right time for protesting. If anything it's a time to honor the dead and to let the families begin thier healing. Having some asshat outside the progression protesting takes away from that healing, which IMO infringes upon the rights of those who are grieving to honor thier relatives/loves/children.

Locke
08-13-2012, 06:17 PM
Honestly there is a time and place for everything. I don't feel protesting at a funeral is the right time for protesting. If anything it's a time to honor the dead and to let the families begin thier healing. Having some asshat outside the progression protesting takes away from that healing, which IMO infringes upon the rights of those who are grieving to honor thier relatives/loves/children.

That's been the primary defense of those trying to get protests at funerals outlawed; it's infringing upon the rights of the deceased's family. It sucks because you're right about it not being the time or place for a protest, but that's exactly why they're doing it, to get a rise out of everyone. The issue is if you ban it there, it sets precedent for any number of free speech related things that could be infringing on the rights of someone else. If it was more cut and dry, I think it would have already been dealt with. This is one of the very few things that liberals and conservatives both agree is a disgusting practice...