The obnoxious family that calls itself the Westboro Baptist Church is an example of how it is sometimes difficult to take the long view of freedom. Patriotic, constitutional conservatives, however, should be cautioned about the WBC military funeral case now in the news. It has potential for mischief against conservative activists [Ed Note: and any other activist for that matter].
WBC has made a name for itself protesting at military funerals and is in the middle of a Supreme Court battle with the father of a slain Marine over whether WBC's public relations ploys crossed the line and constituted a legal wrong. The Fourth Circuit reversed a U.S. District Court judgment awarding the father, Albert Snyder, millions of dollars in tort damages. The Supreme Court then agreed to hear Mr. Snyder's case.
If you want proof that the WBC case has potential for mischief, Harry Reid, "call-me-Senator" Barbara Boxer, Chuck Schumer, and other politicians have filed amicus curiae briefs in the case. Yes, the same politicians who, daily now, seek to destroy the First Amendment weighed in.
An amicus brief filed by 48 state attorneys general, including Richard Blumenthal, Martha Coakley, Jerry Brown, and Barack Obama's favorite state attorney general, Lisa Madigan, is fraught with politics. It is so flawed legally and constitutionally that first-year law students might even react with "tsk, tsk."