Westboro Loons Lose


Albert Snyder sued the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church for unspecified damages after members demonstrated at the March 2006 funeral of his son, Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, who was killed in Iraq.

The federal jury first awarded $2.9 million in compensatory damages. It returned in the afternoon with its decision to award $6 million in punitive damages for invasion of privacy and $2 million for causing emotional distress.

Gotta admit that I’m surprised by this verdict. I figured that the law would get in the way of justice. It’s a pleasant surprise.

Still, I’m sure that Free Speech watchdogs are going to be all over this, and I can see why. And the Westboro loons plans to appeal.

In 2006 I checked out a Westboro loon appearance at a local funeral. In particular, check out the semi truck that drove past on the street between the loons and the church where the funeral was being held. The loons had referred to the Michigan government as the “Michigan Taliban” because they were passing a law restricting such protests.

I think we can all agree that morons like these loons are wrong. But how about the judgment? Was that really right? Any predictions on the appeal or how far it’s going to go?


  1. As much as I hate these idiots that would protest at a funeral, I can’t see that this verdict is going to stand. There isn’t a law that says people can’t be morons, but they do have a right to protest anything that they want, as long as they stay passive about it.

  2. Personally, I wish there had been jail-time included for ‘disturbing the peace’. I’ve always believed that a funeral deserves respect and compassion for the family that has just lost a loved one: 1st amendment excuse or not, these bozo’s showed neither. It was a photo op to them, nothing more, and the pain they caused should be repaid in kind. I wonder if they still allow tar and feathers in some states?

  3. I’m no constitutional scholar, but I don’t see the 1st amendment issue here. No government agency has attempted stifle their right to protest peacefully in this lawsuit. The jury seems to (I think rightfully) found that the Westboro church ‘protesters’ had intentionally inflicted pain and suffering on the family of this slain hero. As stated in the old phrase ‘your right to swing your fist stops at my nose’ they have no right to do what they have been doing in the manner they have been doing it. Let them go to Washington D.C. and march in front of the White House like everyone else. I will defend their right to do that to the death.

  4. Verdicts similar to this stand in court every day. These scumsuckers traffic in hate speech under the guise of religion, and it is about time someone grew a full set of gonads and stomped on them. They do this nonsense because there are no consequences for their hate mongering and agitating. In reality they are scam artists who try to get some one to kick their asses in public so they can generate revenue by suing those people. As far as protesting, there are indeed limits. For one, you are not allowed to do something that could reasonably be expected to incite a riot. These people have done that on several occasions. They should all be doing jail time for those offenses, but no one wants to cross them. If it becomes inconvenient for these freaks of nature to pull their publicity stunts and we stop getting them in the papers and on the tv news, they will go away.