On the Docket, Georgetown’s Supreme Court society, made its first trip of the semester to the high court this week. The group of ten students camped on Monday and Tuesday nights to secure seats for the oral arguments in Snyder v. Phelps.
After Fred Phelp‘s virulently anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church protested the private funeral of Marine Lance Corporal Matthew Synder, who was killed in Iraq four years ago, Snyder’s family sued the church for defamation and the “intentional infliction of emotional distress.”
As a “captive audience,” the family argues, and the church’s free speech should be limited, even though protesters stood outside of the 1000-foot radius established by Congress.
“No matter which way the court goes, it’s going to be a dramatic rewriting of the First Amendment, [which] the court has not categorically supported,” Parul Aggarwal (SFS ’12), On the Docket treasurer, said. “I believe that the captive audience theory applies even at one thousand feet.”