Snyder vs. Phelps
The Westboro Baptist church members led by Phelps picketed the U.S soldiers’ funerals against the homosexuality in the military. In 2006, they picketed the funeral of Mathew Snyder who had served as Marine Corporal. However, he was killed in Iraq in his line of duty (Supreme Court, 1). The pickets used signs and flyers to condemn the homosexuality in the United States especially among the defense forces. They staged the pickets during the burial of Mathew Snyder near his home. However, during the service his father (Mr. Albert Snyder) noticed some pickets signs but could not understand the content (Supreme Court, 1). Later he saw the story through the media and he was aware on the picketing message (SNYDER v. PHELPS, 1). Snyder pressed charges against Phelps and the Baptist church in the United States District Court for Maryland District. However, the Supreme Court reviewed the decision of lower courts.
Oral Argument in the United States Supreme Court
Attorney Sean Summers represented the petitioner in court. The attorney argued that Westboro Baptist church led by Fred Phelps had violated Snyder’s freedom to bury his son in a dignified manner (Supreme Court, 1). Secondly, he noted that the picketers caused emotional and psychological stress due to their actions (SNYDER v. PHELPS). The attorney also pointed out the state tort claims of civil conspiracy and interference of privacy by the offender. Mr. Summer pointed that after watching the posting of the picketing on the internet after funeral his family was distressed and it caused intrusion upon the funeral (Supreme Court). Furthermore, he argued that the congregation violated the tort law of Maryland because the legislature in Maryland had prohibited protesting funerals (SNYDER v. PHELPS, 1). In addition, the signs used by the protestors such as “God hates you, you are going to hell,” that implied directly to the famil