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


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a565055.pdf


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