Funeral pickets are constitutionally-protected speech, nation’s high court declares in 8-1 ruling. Justice Samuel Alito voted against Phelps. His voice is the only that speaks of decency.
“Respondents’ [Phelps'] outrageous conduct caused petitioner great injury, and the Court now compounds that injury by depriving petitioner of a judgment that acknowledges the wrong he suffered.
In order to have a society in which public issues can be openly and vigorously debated, it is not necessary to allow the brutalization of innocent victims like petitioner. I therefore respectfully dissent.”
A society that fails to protect rituals and ceremonies surrounding death and burial is a society on the brink of collapse. This isn't about freedom of speech. This is about compassion for the mourners and dignity for the dead.