Albert Snyder Refuses to Pay Westboro Baptist Church
Albert Snyder Disputes Court Costs for Westboro Baptist Church
Albert Snyder originally won his court case against hate group Westboro Baptist Church, after the group picketed the funeral of his son, US marine Matthew Snyder. Albert Snyder originally won an $11 million judgment, but the Federal Appeals Court overturned the ruling, saying that Albert Snyder owes Westboro Baptist Church $16,000 for court fees. Snyder is refusing to pay.
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The US Supreme Court will hear the case, which pits Westboro's First-Amendment right to free speech against Albert Snyder's right to not have his son's funeral disrupted by extremists ranting about something completely unrelated to the death of his son, and that the Snyder family's own rights to peaceful assembly and religious practice were infringed by Fred Phelps' group.
Private citizens ranging from a retired bookkeeper to Bill O'Reilly have offered to contribute to Albert Snyder's court costs.
That case, by the way, looks to be another big First Amendment test. Snyder sued the church for emotional distress, but his initial win was overturned by an appeals court, which ruled that protesters had free-speech protection.
“Military funerals have become pagan orgies of idolatrous blasphemy, where they pray to the dunghill gods of Sodom and play taps to a fallen fool,” states a press release posted on the church’s website, announcing the rally at a memorial service for Lance Cpl. Justin Wilson. At the bottom of the press release are printed the words “Thank God for IEDs,” referring to the roadside bombs that have killed thousands of troops in both wars.