March 04, 2011
On March 2, 2011, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Snyder v. Phelps. The question in this case was whether the First Amendment shields certain military funeral protesters from tort liability for their speech.
By a vote of 8 to 1, the Court ruled in favor of the protestors. Chief Justice Roberts, joined by Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan, held that the First Amendment did indeed protect the protestors from tort liability on the basis of their speech in this case. Justice Breyer also filed a concurring opinion, and Justice Alito issued a dissent.
To discuss the case, we have Professor Calvin R. Massey, who is a professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law.