Phelps crew targets 3 churches on their way to the moot

by on September 28, 2010  •  In Supreme Court

[SCOTUS_0927jpg] Next Wednesday the Supreme Court will hear argument in Snyder v. Phelps, which raises the question of whether truly repulsive speech is protected by the First Amendment. (The answer is almost certainly yes.) The appeal is on behalf of Fred Phelps and his hardy little band of followers, who have seized upon the idea that the best way to protest gay rights is to show up at the funerals of dead service members and declare that all such military deaths are God's punishment for America's tolerance of homosexuality. No, I'm not kidding. 

Representing Fred Phelps is his attorney daughter Margie Phelps. (That's her wearing the pink shirt in the photo.) It's either astonishing or frightening or both that 10 of his 13 children became lawyers. Here is Margie's lawyerly view of the Phelps enterprise: "Our role is simple. We are prophets and prophetesses." 

On Sunday the entire (tiny) crew was in Richmond for a moot of the argument that was sponsored by Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Richmond Law School. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, a not so funny thing happened on the way to the moot: Margie and her peeps managed to work in three protests at local churches. 

Church-goers in DC – you are forewarned. 


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