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Posted at 12:08 PM ET, 03/31/2010

Slain Marine's family gets donations for court costs

By Washington Post editors

People from across the U.S. have launched a grass-roots fundraising campaign to help the family of a slain Marine pay court costs stemming from a lawsuit against a group that protested at the man's funeral, the Baltimore Sun reports.

Albert Snyder sued members of the Westboro Baptist Church because they waved signs saying "God hates the USA" and signs bearing anti-gay slurs at the 2006 funeral of his son, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, who was killed in Iraq. A federal jury in Baltimore awarded Snyder $11 million in damages in 2007, saying the group from Topeka, Kan., intentionally inflicted emotional distress on the family. The award was reduced to $5 million and was overturned after an appeal by church group leader Fred Phelps.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Snyder to pay $16,510.80 to Phelps. Snyder's story, which appeared in the Sun, has prompted an outpouring of support.

Phelps's group travels the country to protest at military funerals, saying service members' deaths are God's punishment for U.S. tolerance of homosexuality.

By Washington Post editors  | March 31, 2010; 12:08 PM ET
 
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Comments

The day I pass one of these godless protests is the day my Totota's gas pedal sticks, it will stick until every a-hole holding a sign is road kill.

Posted by: dem4life1 | March 31, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"The day I pass one of these godless protests is the day my Totota's gas pedal sticks, it will stick until every a-hole holding a sign is road kill."

Right on brother!!!!

Posted by: pappasbike | March 31, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

People who recklessly sue other people deserve to be held accountable and forced to pay those who they sued their court costs. However, the Westboro Baptist Church welcomes being sued. half of the family (the church is 90% related) are lawyers. And they intentionally seek attention and lawsuits by their actions. The judge who awarded them court costs did so in error and hopefully this can be rectified thru further legal recourse.
the ammount in itself is ridiculous.

Posted by: MarilynManson | March 31, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

The judge is probably related or bribed by this Baptist church group. And dem4lief, I'd open all the doors while you're driving so we take out more....Fred Phelps is a loser/coward not a leader and unsure how any church could be associated with them?

Posted by: larry40 | March 31, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

They aren't really a church, they claim to be one for tax purposes. Everything they have done is so evil.

Posted by: InVA2 | March 31, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Can you believe that these are not godless protests, but rather put on by members of an organized religion. These characters are doing it in God's name! It's depressing that they can turn their back on Christian brotherhood and Christ's teachings.

Posted by: harveye | March 31, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

The Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure permit the prevailing party in an appeal to seek reimbursement from the loser for certain costs of the appeal. In this case, the bill of costs covered the filing fee ($450) and the cost of printing the trial record, eight copies of over 3,600 pages, required by those same rules.

The appeals court may have held its nose in allowing the bill, but it didn't have much choice in the matter.

Posted by: landlaw | March 31, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

The godless Southern-Baptist/Klu-Klux-Klan/Republican Westboro Baptist Church has been rewarded for its racist, hate and terrorist activities. I am totally against Bush's wars; however, this was a personal solemn event not to be desecrated by KKK terrorists. Had these KKK people applied their evil craft to a black person, heads would roll; however, Albert Snyder is white. White people have NO immunity from terrorist attacks perpetrated by home-grown, ignorant, and backward, country folks bussed in from Klan territory.

Posted by: MrZ2 | March 31, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

The godless Southern-Baptist/Klu-Klux-Klan/Republican Westboro Baptist Church has been rewarded for its racist, hate and terrorist activities. I am totally against Bush's wars; however, this was a personal solemn event not to be desecrated by KKK terrorists. Had these KKK people applied their evil craft to a black person, heads would roll; however, Albert Snyder is white. White people have NO immunity from terrorist attacks perpetrated by home-grown, ignorant, and backward, country folks bussed in from Klan territory.

Posted by: MrZ2
+++++++++++++++++++

As a Black man, let me say that I think you're wrong regarding the effects of Westboro Baptist Church's hateful actions on whites as opposed to blacks. Their actions are despicable, no matter who they go against. Personally, I think the courts were wrong to overturn the judgement and I think the judge who odered the plaintiff to pay those hateful b@st@rds' legal fees should be removed from office. He/she is a disgrace to the bench.

Posted by: ceefer66 | March 31, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

As a Black man, let me say that I think you're wrong regarding the effects of Westboro Baptist Church's hateful actions on whites as opposed to blacks. Their actions are despicable, no matter who they go against. Personally, I think the courts were wrong to overturn the judgement and I think the judge who odered the plaintiff to pay those hateful b@st@rds' legal fees should be removed from office. He/she is a disgrace to the bench.

Posted by ceefer66

We are in 100-percent agreement over this. I may have stated my position poorly.

I was looking at it from the standpoint of the non-color blindness of the judiciary. Because of past horrific hate and terrorist crimes perpetrated by these very same hate groups against the Black citizens of our country, the judiciary is hyper-acutely sensitized to KKK type terrorist hate and violence against the Black community.

I felt the only reason that the All-White Westboro Baptist Church was left off the hook by that despicable judge for the terrorist criminal activities that they engaged in is because the victim of the Westboro Baptist Church hate and terrorist campaign was white. The judiciary is totally insensitive to white-upon-white violence and terrorist hate crimes and gives the criminal perpetrators a “Get Out of Jail Card Free” card.

Posted by: MrZ2 | March 31, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

This is total insanity on the part of the judge. Whatever happened to protecting people from inciteful language and actions? What if the Ku Klux Klan burned a cross to incite anger and fear among African-Americans? What if neo-Nazis desecrated the local synagogue to get the same reaction from Jewish-Americans? Well, it is the same when an activist group incites the families of our fallen warriors regardless of their race and/or ethnicity. My wife and I are both veterans and I am an OIF veteran. We will do everything we can from our end and encourage our military community to do the same. Phelps and his goons have gone far enough. I would place them in the same league as Code Pink and MoveOn.org, or worse. As for the judge? Does he really think he will still be a judge after this is over?

Posted by: OIFVet06 | March 31, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

The first two commentators wrote about wiping out the "godless a...holes". Obviously they did not read the article too closely. The protesters are intensely religious folks led by a fire and brimstone preacher. They are poster children for the extreme religious right. They are fostering the same kind of hate for people different from them that the two commentators displayed.
The judge will lose no matter what he decides. If he rules against Reverend Phelps, the religious right will be outraged at this attack on the right of Christians to promote their moral views of the world. How can secular courts order righteous Christians to stop preaching against the evils of this world?
Of course, a quick read of many of the posts here will show what could happen to the judge if he rules in favor of the group. It seems even Post readers are not immune to the lure of character assassination and angry threats against those who might dare to think differently than they do.
I was amused watching Bill O'Reilly trying to report on this several months ago. He knew he could stoke audience hatred and fear about the "the homosexual agenda." He knew he could score points by supporting a group of "righteous Christians" in protesting fair treatment of homosexuals, but he also knew his audience would not take it kindly if he endorsed a group that was apparently disrespecting the military. Old Bill had spent too much time excoriating liberals for not supporting the troops to dare seem to favor any group that disrespected the fallen. So, in the end, Bill mildly disapproved of the group's actions. He had to be mild, otherwise he would have alienated too many viewers. I am amazed at how easily we are manipulated into hurling our anger at one group or another.

Posted by: meltee | March 31, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with one of the posters- judges always have discretion- and the judge could have thrown this out. Shame on the jury and the judge.

Posted by: silverspring25 | April 1, 2010 7:40 AM | Report abuse

One can hope that the judge who ordered Mr. Snyder to pay court costs for these crackpots is sending him a BIG donation.

Posted by: cumaea | April 1, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Pastor Fred Phelps- Independent Baptist, registered Democrat. Obviously he represents all Baptist and all Democrats and they all should be condemned. Since Obama and Pelosi are Democrats they obviously had something to do with this, Right?

Posted by: woks-90093 | April 1, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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