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MI: Phelps-centric lawsuit gets less 'f*g hatey' plaintiff

by Jeremy Hooper

In the past, we've expressed our apprehensions about the laws that the state and federal laws that have been used to limit Westboro Baptist Church's funeral protests. Now the ACLU of Michigan is taking those same sort of 200904021318constitutional concerns to court. However, even though the laws they are targeting are the very ones that have most commonly been used against WBC, the ACLU's novel complaint actually involves a couple who were at a local funeral in support of the fallen soldier:

A state law intended to stop protests at funerals such as those engaged in by the vehemently anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church is being challenged by the ACLU of Michigan after it was used by the Clare County Sheriff’s Department to arrest a couple participating in the funeral of a friend with a banner on their car.
ACLU challenges Michigan’s funeral protest law [Michican Messenger]
On September 26, 2007, Lewis and Jean Lowden (collectively, "the Lowdens") traveled to Clare County, Michigan, to attend the funeral of Army Corporal Todd Motley, a close family friend and American soldier who was killed in Iraq. Although they were driving in the funeral procession at the invitation of Cpl. Motley's family and did nothing to disrupt the procession or funeral, the Lowdens were arrested and taken to jail for allegedly violating M.C.L. § 750.167d because the van they were driving displayed signs critical of President Bush and other government officials and policies. [ACLU pdf]

Probably a good move on the ACLU's part. It'd surely be hard for their lawyers to schedule meeting time with Westboro, what with the family's need to jet off to a protest whenever someone so much as enters their house through the back door.

**Read/download the full complaint:

Low Den Complaint

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Your thoughts

In some way, a blow for freedom is more fundamental when the person you're defending is scum. So perhaps the ACLU should have taken the Phelps, not the Lowdens, as their test case. But perhaps the Phelps didn't want to be associated with the ACLU.

Anyway: good luck to them!


Posted by: Timothy (TRiG) | Apr 2, 2009 1:53:37 PM

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