1st Amendment protects military funeral protesters

by   |  03.02.11  |  Censorship and Prior Restraint

First Amendment Protects military funeral protests, Supreme Court says.

Pretty strong defense of the Marketplace of Ideas from Chief Justice John Roberts:

Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and — as it did here — inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker. As a nation we have chosen a different course — to protect even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate.

From the lone dissenter, Samuel Alito:

Our profound national commitment to free and open debate is not a license for the vicious verbal assault that occurred in this case.