Not everyone is on Snyder's side, even if they find Westboro's protests loathsome.
They point to the undisputed facts of the case. Westboro contacted police before its protest, which was conducted in a designated area on public land -- 1,000 feet from the church where the Mass was held in Westminster, Md.
The protesters -- Phelps and six family members -- broke no laws. Snyder knew they were present, but he did not see their signs or hear their statements until he turned on the news at his son's wake.
Jonathan M. Turley, a George Washington University law professor, asked his constitutional law class to grapple with the case. At first, the entire class was sympathetic to Snyder. But after they dug deeper, they concluded that Westboro's speech was protected by the First Amendment.
"Once you get down to trying to draw the line between privacy and free speech, it becomes clear that a ruling against Westboro could create the danger of a slippery slope for future courts," Turley said.
Turley, who studies the Supreme Court closely, said it's difficult to predict how the justices will rule.
Phelps-Roper has no doubt the court will favor Westboro. "If that case can prevail, there is no First Amendment left," she said.
Some military families see no reason why such protests cannot be restricted.
"I don't think these people should be allowed to come in and disrupt a family's grief," said Diane Salyers of Sims, Ark., whose son's funeral was picketed by Westboro in 2007. Snyder "speaks for all of us who've been affected by these people."