Snyder wasn't even aware they were protesting his son's funeral until he heard about it on the news.This is why I disagree with the courts on the issue. Yes, WBC has a right to free speach and as detestible and absolutely horrid as their speech is, it must be protected.
Here is where I think the line should have been drawn.........and in accordance with many SCOTUS tests established in the last century.
1) Time/Place/Manner - saying "we disagree with homosexuality and feel in our hearts that soldier deaths are a punsihment" is a far cry from "Thank God for dead soldiers" or "God hates fags" during a time of sadness, i.e., the burial of a loved one.
- Time - During that mourning period
- Place - Cemetary, which is a private establishment. As well the family is paying for the funeral, it is at that time "their space"
- Manner - Such that it could cause a situation of violent confrontation. (I know if I lost a loved one and someone picketed their funeral I'd be ready to tear their head off.....literally)
2) Fighting words; The doctrine specifically states that violence is not subject to legal enforcement, and speech is not protected should it become such that the average person upon hearing it would be compelled to such anger that they would engage in violence. If pissing on the funeral of a loved one doesn't meet that I don't know what does.
3) Is it SLAPPS protected? SLAPPS being(Serious, Literary, Artistic, Political, philisophical, or Scientific) value, anything that meets SLAPPS is absolutely protected, but that which appeals to a prurient interest as defined by the average person withing a community which fails the test is much less protected. To me, picketing a funeral is too low to meet any basic standard of protection.