Monday, October 05, 2009
Ain't It the Truth!
As reported by Ed Brayton, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned the civil judgment against Fred Phelps and his merry band of thoroughly deluded religious extremists who are a daily reminder that no just God is interested in righting wrongs in this world.
Essentially, the court found that the Phelps' rantings are just that -- "loose, figurative, or hyperbolic language not connoting actual facts" – and, therefore, constitutionally protected speech. That doesn't mean the court was happy about the result:
To paraphrase our distinguished colleague Judge Hall, judges defending the Constitution "must sometimes share [their] foxhole with scoundrels of every sort, but to abandon the post because of the poor company is to sell freedom cheaply. It is a fair summary of history to say that the safeguards of liberty have often been forged in controversies involving not very nice people."
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