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    Gotta hand it to Bill O'reilly

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    Arik
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    Gotta hand it to Bill O'reilly

    Post  Arik on Thu Apr 01, 2010 5:18 pm

    http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/bill-oreilly-joins-albert-snyder-father-of-marine-in-battle-over-funeral-protest/19422884


    'Reilly Joins Marine's Dad in Funeral Protest Fight
    Updated: 1 hour 18 minutes ago
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    Michelle Ruiz
    Contributor
    (April 1) -- When the Westboro Baptist Church, an anti-gay group based in Topeka, Kan., picketed the 2006 funeral of Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder bearing signs that read "God Hates the USA," the serviceman's father, Albert Snyder, sued for infliction of emotional distress, winning an $11 million judgment in 2007.

    End of story? Not even close.

    Snyder's reward was reduced and then overturned on appeal, with a decision upholding the Westboro group's right to free speech. Additionally, a 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge last week ordered Snyder to pay $16,510.80 of the Westboro Baptist Church's almost $100,000 in legal fees.
    Fragment code:
    Barbara Haddock Taylor, Baltimore Sun / MCT
    Albert Snyder was ordered to pay some court costs incurred by members of the Westboro Baptist Church who picketed his son's funeral.

    "It was bad enough that they reversed the decision, but then to tell me I had to pay them money so they can do this to more military funerals, that's what hurts the most," Snyder, of York, Pa., said today on ABC's "Good Morning America."

    The Supreme court has agreed to hear the case in the fall, but in the meantime the legal battle has sparked a national dispute over free speech and privacy for military families. A grassroots fundraising campaign to help Snyder has reached Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, who says he'll cover the $16,000 tab.

    "I will pay Mr. Snyder's obligation. I'm not going to let this injustice stand," O'Reilly said Wednesday on his show, "The O'Reilly Factor." "It's obvious those cranks at Westboro were intentionally trying to hurt Mr. Snyder and his family."

    In a statement to AOL News, O'Reilly said he feels Snyder is a "victim of judicial injustice."

    Snyder thanked O'Reilly on "Good Morning America," saying: "It means a lot to me and my family and all the other families that have gone through this and the ones that will still go through this."

    The religious group O'Reilly called "disturbed souls" and "screwed-up loons" watched the appearance from Topeka. Shirley Phelps-Roper, the daughter of Westboro's 81-year-old leader, Fred Phelps, and a named defendant in the case against Snyder, told AOL News that Snyder is focusing on emotions, not legal facts.

    "[Snyder] starts talking about 'Oh, I'm burying my son.' That's calculated to get the sympathy vote," Phelps-Roper said. "In the same respect that Snyder hates these words that we preach ... it still doesn't make it unlawful. That's why the First Amendment exists."

    Phelps-Roper, who was present at the picketing of Snyder's funeral, said her group pickets thousands of military funerals each year because they believe God is punishing soldiers who defend a country that has a "policy" of accepting homosexuals. She denied Snyder's charges that her group was 30 feet from the entrance of the Westminster, Md., funeral home, forcing Snyder and his family to use a side entrance.

    "We were out of sight and out of sound more than 1,100 feet from that building," she said. "We are not interested in violating the law. We are just making a final call to this nation: Your destruction is imminent."

    Both Phelps-Roper and her father and Snyder will now prepare for the Supreme Court to hear a new appeal of the case. If they rule in favor of Snyder, he will not be responsible for the $16,000 in Westboro's legal fees. He told Fox News he has no plans to pay Westboro and is instead focusing on raising the $20,000 to file a Supreme Court brief, a challenge considering Snyder earns $43,000 a year as a salesman for a small electronics firm.

    "I don't think I'm going to be writing a check until I hear from the Supreme Court," Snyder said Tuesday. "I'm not about to pay them anything."

    The Supreme Court this month agreed to hear Snyder's case, following the 4th Circuit Court's decision in September to throw out Snyder's reward on free speech grounds and order him to pay part of Westboro's legal fees. Snyder's request to dismiss his responsibility to pay was denied last week.

    Snyder Family / Baltimore Sun / AP
    Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder was killed March 3, 2006, in a noncombat vehicle accident in Iraq.

    Snyder's supporters are hoping to help him with his financial hurdles one check at a time. More than 12,000 supporters are behind him via a Facebook group called "I support Al Snyder in his fight against Westboro Baptist Church."

    Alice M. Johnson, 56, of Lynbrook, N.Y., told the Baltimore Sun she donated $50 to Snyder's cause.

    "I agree that people have the right to free speech," she said, "but that should not be allowed ... where people are laying their children to rest who died for their country."

    Snyder's attorney, Sean Summer, told ABC News he believes the high court will rule in favor of Snyder.

    "We think, of course, everyone has a right to free speech, but when they took their so-called rights to Mr. Snyder's son's funeral, they impeded upon his rights," Summers said. "They had the whole country to protest that day, they chose to travel all the way to Westminster, Md., to intentionally harass Mr. Snyder."

    Phelps-Roper, too, feels hopeful about her chances at the Supreme Court.

    "If they go against us, there's not going to be any First Amendment left," she told AOL News. "I suspect that they're going to rule properly and it's going to make this nation so furious. You think they're furious now ... just wait till that happen
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    Yehudah

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    Re: Gotta hand it to Bill O'reilly

    Post  Yehudah on Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:54 pm

    Those people are complete trash. Their mission in life is to harrass with the goal of litigation.

    They came here a few weeks ago. We totally ignored them, I don't think they will come back.

    If everyone ignored thier BS, they would fall away into obscurity.


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    Arik
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    Re: Gotta hand it to Bill O'reilly

    Post  Arik on Fri Apr 02, 2010 3:34 pm

    What were they doing down your way?
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    Yehudah

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    Re: Gotta hand it to Bill O'reilly

    Post  Yehudah on Fri Apr 02, 2010 3:48 pm

    Protesting our schools. They protested our day school, our Yeshiva, and our girls high school... then the secular high schools.. then the JCC.

    morons.


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