As offensive as the Phelps protesters are, they have a right to express their views. So the U.S. Supreme Court was correct in ruling 8-1 today against a Maryland father who sued members of Topeka's Westboro Baptist Church after they picketed his son's funeral. States can place time and place restrictions on such protests, as Maryland and Kansas have done. But Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that our nation protects "even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate."
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