Warner, Webb sign court brief backing fallen Marine's family
Virginia Sens. Mark Warner and Jim Webb have signed on to a friend of the court brief expressing support for the family of a fallen Marine who sued a Kansas City church for protesting at the Marine's military funeral.
The Supreme Court will hear the Snyder v. Phelps case this fall. Its profile was raised in Virginia after Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli declined to sign an amicus brief on the family's side, making Virginia one of only two states not to do so. Cuccinelli said he was concerned about the free speech implications of allowing the family to sue the church citing emotional distress over the protest.
The Westboro Baptist Church protests at military funerals, claiming that combat deaths are America's punishment for tolerating homosexuality. (Read Cuccinelli's full explanation of his position here.)
After Cuccinelli took some heat for not signing on, it emerged that Warner and Webb had likewise not signed a brief expressing support for the family's lawsuit that had been penned 40 U.S. senators, a fact first reported by the Tertium Quids blog. Both Virginia senators' offices quickly refuted the idea that they had intentionally sided with Cuccinelli on the emotional issue, indicating that, essentially, the brief had just gotten lost in the shuffle as Congress headed to a holiday recess.
But the lawyer for the senators has filed with the court a letter indicating that 16 additional senators also support the brief. Warner and Webb are both included on the list.
June 22, 2010; 11:02 AM ET
Categories: James Webb , Ken Cuccinelli , Mark Warner , Rosalind Helderman
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