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Warner, Webb sign court brief backing fallen Marine's family

Rosalind Helderman

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.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  June 22, 2010; 11:02 AM ET
Categories:  James Webb , Ken Cuccinelli , Mark Warner , Rosalind Helderman  
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Comments

Now Cucinelli will never join.

Posted by: krickey7 | June 22, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Koo-koo-nelli strikes again!- He likes the Westboro bigots,because he also hates gays- what would the Repb-right -wing nut- party of no eve do without someone to hate?
Haven't the famlies of fallen soldiers suffered enough?...and now they have to listen to this trash? I feel these families are being mistreated by hateful bigots. They have a right to bry their loved ones in peace!

Posted by: lsf07 | June 22, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Mr Cucinelli is simply just another a mean spirited, blindly ideological Conservative in a political position to exercise power. It's frightening and is an embarassment to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Posted by: salvania | June 22, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Burn the church down... what a bunch of losers!

Posted by: rockettonu | June 22, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Just wait, its cliche and always happens to the uber self righteous, Cucinelli will be caught one day with his pants down wearing a black leather mask and a red ball in his mouth, passing a note under the bathroom stall at the airport.

Posted by: 123cartoon | June 22, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

lsf07 - You make such terrible remarks about Republicans (not all of whom fall in any or all of the categories you mention), but really aren't you being hateful of people who disagree with you?

I am conservative and may disagree with you ideologically, but would not say such terrible things about you. You are no better than the people you dislike.

However, I agree that all people have the right to bury their dead in peace - there are time, place and manner restrictions on many kinds of speech and expression. This most definitely is not the time or the place for such protests. Without the freedom to bury in peace, what kind of savage society are we?

Posted by: JG08 | June 22, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

My interpretation of the U.S. Constitution makes freedom of speech absolute. Anybody can say anything they want without the government locking them up and/or killing them for what they said. However, the Constitution is silent as to where and when the speech is appropriate. For example, falsely shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater, especially when there is no fire, constitutes a public menace. For example, gathering at a military funeral to advertise your opposition to homosexuals and homosexuality violates the purpose of a military funeral: the dignified consecration to the ground of an honored fallen service member. Where is the dignity when some nut case ultra right winger uses the funeral as his venue for its publicity value? What would Jesus do?

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | June 22, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

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