Margie Phelps, the lawyer representing Westboro in the current Supreme Court case and daughter of the Church’s founder, has responded to my recent column on that case. Since I do not believe it was published, in fairness I am publishing it in full on the blog:
This responds to Jonathan Turley’s special about costs awarded to us in the funeral picketing case.
He’s right in a sense—the courts have been cut off from the average person, by prohibitive costs, sanctions, and cumbersome rules. That was done purposefully because this nation is not righteous, and has no mercy.
He’s wrong suggesting costs are unfair in this case. When you make a decision in the cold light of day to use the courts to vent your spleen – making the whole case about your hurt feeeeeeel-liiiiiiings – utterly ignoring longstanding constitutional principles, there should be some consequence. After all – you folks in Washington love to pound the table, puff up, and harrumph, “This is a nation of laws!”
Some things are immovable. Everyone is talking about the soldiers – their lives, their deaths and their funerals. Everyone is talking about the raping priests. Everyone is talking about same-sex marriage. All those issues are bound up scripturally in these dying soldiers. Stop sinning; they’ll stop dying. What answers does the Pentagon have to stop their deaths? That public dialogue is one we have every right to join—whether you hate the words or not. The funerals are public free-for-alls, with politicians, media, veterans and military sprawled all about with flapping mouths and flags.
It was wrong-minded of the faithless father and his military lawyer to ever file that lawsuit. The Fourth Circuit cited multiple Supreme Court cases in overturning the runaway verdict. Abusing the legal system in the hopes of jury nullification is wrong. Requiring a party in that instance to reimburse a modest portion of the costs of litigation to the abused party is fitting.
Member/attorney, Westboro Baptist Church