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Morning Sun
  • Ks. Attorney General files brief against Phelps, church

  • The Kansas Attorney General’s office has filed a “friend of the court” brief against Fred Phelps and his church, Topeka-based Westboro Baptist Church with the U.S. Supreme Court.

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  • The Kansas Attorney General’s office has filed a “friend of the court” brief against Fred Phelps and his church, Topeka-based Westboro Baptist Church with the U.S. Supreme Court.
    On Tuesday, Kansas Attorney General Steve Six was joined by 47 other states and the District of Columbia in filing an amicus brief in support of Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Synder’s family against the Phelps family and the church.
    “I am grateful to get the support of so many of my colleagues in this brief,” Six said. “This is an important case to the states, because so many of us have taken steps to protect grieving families during the emotional time that surrounds a loved one’s burial.”
    The brief argues that state protection of funerals through “funeral picketing or protest laws” and traditional state tort law is constitutional because they protect the privacy interests of funeral proceedings, funeral attendees represent a captive audience with First Amendment protections, and the type of targeted picketing used by the Phelpses is a particularly intrusive and harassing form of hate speech. The states are also arguing that state tort law protects the privacy and emotional health of grieving families.
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