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Monday round-up

As a new week begins at the Court, last week’s big First Amendment case is still making news and drawing commentary.  At the First Amendment Center, Tony Mauro looks ahead from Snyder v. Phelps to the battle over the constitutionality of time, place, and manner restrictions on funeral protests.  The York Daily Record continues its excellent coverage of the case, writing on the Court’s decision not to consider the “epic” that a member of the Westboro church posted online.  Meanwhile, the Baltimore Sun reports on the reaction of the congregation whose funeral mass for Snyder was picketed by the Westboro church.

Many columnists offered their views this weekend.  In the Detroit Free Press, Mitch Albom (author of Tuesdays with Morrie) writes that “the Supreme Court just made a decision that blesses Westboro, which hates this country, and curses the Snyders, who love it.”  Bob Schieffer of CBS News also objects to the decision and writes that “[w]hen there are those among us so selfish and cruel they are willing to use one of our most cherished freedoms to intrude on the grief of parents who have lost a child just to promote their cause, we must do everything legally possible to deter them.”  In the New Jersey Star Ledger, John Farmer compares Justice Alito’s dissent to in Snyder to Justice Robert Jackson’s advocacy of “practical wisdom” his dissent in Terminiello v. Chicago, the 1949 case that found First Amendment protection for a religiously inflammatory speech.  In a Washington Post op-ed, Jeffrey Rosen writes that “[m]ore than any other justice, Alito is emerging as a stalwart defender of privacy, particularly in cases with strong free speech interests on the other side.”  Monica Yant Kinney of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes that “[o]nly in the land of the free can vituperative, flag-dragging crazies claim both Bill O’Reilly and Michael Moore as critics while reminding the rest of us we’re lucky to be Americans.”  Linda Campbell has a column in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, as does Byron Williams in the San Jose Mercury-News.


Bloggers continue to weigh in, too.  At Concurring Opinions, Danielle Citron argues that “the Court’s finding leaves significant room for perpetrators of hate-motivated harassment to argue that the First Amendment insulates them from IIED liability.”  Responding to a post by Steven Shiffrin at Mirror of Justice, Paul Horwitz of PrawfsBlawg writes that “it appears to be characteristic of Roberts’s writing in the First Amendment area, if not elsewhere… that he makes an overriding virtue of simplicity, to the relative exclusion of other virtues, such as facing up to the potential complexity of a case.”  At Jost on Justice, Kenneth Jost views Snyder in the context of Justice Holmes’s 1929 dissent in Schwimmer v. United States.

Briefly, in other coverage of the Court:

  • Jonathan Turley (in the Los Angeles Times) and Robert Reich (on his Christian Science Monitor blog) both criticize Justice Clarence Thomas’s recent comments in a speech before the Federalist Society.
  • The Richmond Times-Dispatch Richard Bonnie and Andrew Peach predict that the new healthcare law will garner at least six votes for its constitutionality when a case reaches the Court.

Recommended Citation: James Bickford, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Mar. 7, 2011, 9:23 AM),