Father ordered to pay legal fees of his son's funeral protestors


"The father of a Marine killed in Iraq whose funeral was picketed by anti-gay protesters told Fox News he will defy a court order and not pay the protesters’ appeal costs.

Albert Snyder, of York, Pa., told Fox News he does not intend to pay $16,510 to Fred Phelps, the leader of Kansas’ Westboro Baptist Church, which held protests at Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder’s funeral in 2006.

“I don’t think I’m going to be writing a check until I hear from the Supreme Court,” Snyder told Fox News on Tuesday. “I’m not about to pay them anything.”

The Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ordered Snyder on Friday to pay Phelps. A two-page decision supplied by his attorneys offered no details on how the court came to its decision.

The decision adds “insult to injury,” said Sean Summers, one of Snyder’s attorneys.

Snyder is also struggling to come up with fees associated with filing a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, his attorneys said.

The high court agreed to consider whether the protesters’ message is protected by the First Amendment or limited by the competing privacy and religious rights of the mourners.

A federal appeals court dismissed the suit on First Amendment grounds earlier this month and threw out a $5 million award against the protesters, some of whom carried signs that read “God Hates You” and “Thank God for Dead Soldiers.”

A funeral for the fallen Marine was held in March 2006 in Westminster, Md. Snyder, 20, died from a non-combat-related vehicle accident on March 3, 2006, while supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

According to a Web site created in Snyder’s honor, his relatives filed the civil lawsuit against the Westboro Baptist Church to “bring an end to the reign of terror and abuse that they inflicted” upon grieving families of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Using innocent children to deliver their twisted message of hatred and fear, the defendants in this suit have sought to attack the memory of our departed heroes, to strip their loved one of dignity, and to use abuse and intimidation as a tool for preventing surviving family members from reaching closure over their loss,” the Web site read."

And Bill O’Reilly is picking up the tab.

We’ve all seen more ridiculous court rulings then we’d like to admit but this is damn near the top of the list. The first amendment doesn’t give anyone unrestricted free speech; if you yell fire and cause a panic in a theater you’re going to jail, if you call your teacher cunt you’re probably not getting an A, if you say bomb on a plane you’re not going anywhere so why is this any different?

Socially and legally freedom of speech is restricted to a certain extent in most places yet during a funeral it’s fine to wave “God hates you” and other similar signs during a fucking funeral of a marine who happens to be gay?:bluu::nono::tdown::wtf::wasted::annoy:


uhhhh wtf?


I dunno why the last court overturned the first court’s decision. I hope the supreme court sides with this man.


At least O Reily is being decent.


that’s what I was thinking.


daaaamn. that’s like winning the lotto, and then you hear about some special catch that voids your reward.


what a bunch of BS! i can not believe that they overturned that, yes i agree first amendment rights should be protected. But this is a funeral for a fallen marine, who did nothing to these people and died an accidental death. I really hope those involved in this BS burn in hell, as a marine veteran. This is truly a sad sight too see!


Yeah…say what you will about Bill, but cmon. Really? You’re making it sound like he has a “Fuck the Troops” bumper sticker.

Christ, they had those East Baptist morons on fucking HANNITY and he spent the entire time ripping on them.


I was actually more shocked about that part than the original story…

Shocked about him personally paying the fee, not that he would side with the father.



The first amendment DOES protect all speech. You can’t be selective of what speech is allowed or it can’t be called “free speech”. Even if that speech is ignorant redneck, religious, hillbilly speech, it’s still protected.

Your “fire” and “bomb” examples aren’t the same because screaming those words in those situations can cause physical harm to the people around you.


We have free speech, but there are laws against things like slander, and emotional and psychological abuse. I’ve never heard of protesting a funeral, especially for a solider that died accidentally.

Your American free speech is beyond flawed. If I printed an article that said James Cameron was a ****** and I made sure it was a front page story I’d get my shit wrecked in court. But these church people are hiding behind a bible and the first amendment and they are committing financial terrorism on this guy.

It makes you wonder how things like this are covered by free speech and a right to protest but protesters for things like the olympics are swept under the rug and/or run down and not shown on tv.


That funeral protesting nonsense is terrible…and I’d like to do terrible, evil things to such people. If they showed up at a funeral for one of my family members, we’d all end up on the news for a different reason. Those bitches would get tortured to death right there at the cemetery. It would be even better if I could personally escort them to Hell and continue the torture there for all eternity.


Your rights end where someone else’s begin.


I’m a huge defender of free speech and I think American free speech laws are some of the best in the world.

That said, we can all agree that free speech has its limits in certain situations. Funerals are one of those situations.


When a good 90% of the world are fucking morons, free speech isn’t pretty.


sadly you’re right.

so are these people protesting gay people being alive or being allowed in the military? either way if i was that father i would go buy an AK47 and follow those fucks home. i would be proud to go to jail for snuffing out people like that.


OP should put the article in quotes, it’s kinda hard to see where the article ends and your post starts.

if you could somehow get that headline printed nothing would happen to you as you’re stating an opinion about a public figure in a newspaper, presumably with an accompanying article as to why you think he’s an asshole.


i’m pretty sure an article like that would go into the op-ed section as well


i have personally maintained for a while now that bill is by far the most reasonable of the fox news spokesman. and on this case i gotta support him 110%. FUCK this “church” seriously. when one of their congregation dies all of america should hold a protest right outside their funeral, hold signs like “god killed you for being fucking retarded” or “WHOOSH, there went the bible’s point, enjoy burning in hell”. just be downright dickish about it, because while i don’t condone protesting at a fallen veterans funeral, i DO condone protesting at a funeral of the cocksuckers who protested fallen soldiers funerals with hate-filled rhetoric about god hating “the gay”


That’s admirable but then they would look like martyrs if the media handled it. What they need is a dose of their own trolling medicine.

I was also surprised Bill O’Reilly picked up the tab. Maybe he’s using it to build his image up again. :bluu: