Supreme court takes on first amendment case

Richard Kelly / Washburn Review

In a case that is expected to push the constitutional boundaries of the First Amendment, Snyder v. Phelps will be addressed today in the Supreme Court. The case argues whether the Westboro Baptist Church protest at a March 10, 2006 funeral for soldier Matthew Snyder is protected under First Amendment rights.

According to the Topeka Capital-Journal, Albert Snyder, Matthew’s father, originally sued and was awarded $10.9 million on Oct. 31, 2007 to Albert Snyder after he sued the church and three of its members. This amount was later reduced to $5.1 million.

This jury’s decision was then repealed in September of 2009 as the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals claimed that the First Amendment protected the church’s protest. This past March, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case to reach a final verdict. Oral arguments began at 9 a.m. this morning.