Snyder v. Phelps
What's at Stake
Whether funeral protestors who demonstrate on the public streets and in conformity with local law can be held liable for damages because a jury concludes that their speech was "outrageous."
The jury in this case awarded $10 million in damages on the theory that defendants had engaged in the intentional infliction of emotional distress by staging a funeral protest on the public streets and in conformity with local law that was meant to express their opposition to homosexuality. While disagreeing vehemently with defendants’ stated views — and, indeed, having been the subject of their condemnation on other occasions — the ACLU amicus brief supports the judgment of the Fourth Circuit below, holding that the jury verdict was inconsistent with the First Amendment.
Snyder v. Phelps - ACLU Amicus Brief
Date Filed: 07/14/2010