Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Protesting Funerals, A New Honored American Tradition


The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals just ruled a Missouri ban on protesting at funerals is unconstitutional. The two Missouri statutes banned protesting funerals for 1 hour before to 1 hour after the service. They also established a 300 ft. no protesting zone around the funeral. These two restrictions were struck down by the court. The ACLU lawyer representing the Westboro Baptist Church said the law created too large a zone of restriction of free speech. This creates and interesting situation.

I wonder how this affects the restrictions on protesting at abortion clinics. State statutes allow protesting but only at a specified distances from an abortion clinic and in the case of a residence of an abortion provider the zone is 300 ft.


This site gives a great history of the courts findings on protesting at abortion clinics. It is clear that getting an abortion without interruption is a much more important and noble right than laying your son or daughter to rest after they gave their life for their country.

And what about electioneering at poles? Does the 25 foot no electioneering rule get nixed? Don't count on it.

Missouri also set restrictions on where you can wear a firearm in the Conceal and Carry Law. Individual businesses and organizations can also post a sign restricting firearms from their facilities. That is a second amendment right restriction if you weren't keeping score. I'm not arguing for or against this restriction. I'm just saying we put restrictions on certain constitutionally protected rights and not on others, all based on the opinion of the court.

This is what happens when you trust the courts to "interpret" the constitution without any rules for doing so. It used to be the practice of the court to investigate the intentions of the authors of a statute or amendment to make a ruling. By dropping this practice the courts have established themselves as the legislative authority for our nation, telling the legislators what they can and cannot legislate according to their opinion. This was never the intent of the Founders. They never intended for a government official who is not elected to have the role of setting public policy.

This has to change. In my humble opinion this is one of the greatest and longest running threats to our freedom.

So let us honor the rights of some who dishonor those who defend their rights to dishonor them in honor of our courts.

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