Accession Number : ADA565055
Title : Snyder v. Phelps: Public Servant or Private Citizen?
Descriptive Note : Research paper
Corporate Author : DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
Personal Author(s) : Berry, Vanessa A
Report Date : 05 May 2011
Pagination or Media Count : 30
Abstract : In October 2010, the Supreme Court was asked to decide whether speech between private citizens is protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. The case, Snyder v. Phelps, involves the speech of the Phelps family and their protests at military funerals. They use funerals, and military funerals in particular, to spread their message regarding homosexuality in the United States. The Court decided that the speech of these citizens should be protected by the First Amendment. This paper advocates that the Supreme Court should have ruled against the Phelps family on their right to engage in offensive, albeit peaceful, free speech at the funerals of service members, and provides an analytical framework for such a ruling. It then looks at the Court's ultimate decision, and the dissenting opinion of Justice Alito, and contrasts the two opinions. Finally, it seeks to show why this case is important to the military.
Descriptors : *CIVILIAN POPULATION , *CONSTITUTIONAL LAW , *DECISION MAKING , *PROTECTION , *SPEECH , *UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT , CASUALTIES , DEATH , HOMOSEXUALITY , MILITARY PERSONNEL
Subject Categories : Government and Political Science
Sociology and Law
Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE