On March 2, the U.S. Supreme Court, in an 8-1 opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, handed down its ruling in Snyder v. Phelps, upholding the right of the
While these papers pat themselves on the back for their fidelity to the First Amendment, let’s keep something in mind: These same papers excoriated the Supreme Court when it held that Congress lacked the power to ban a political documentary produced with corporate money. What gives?
The answer is that the
So the New York Times and the Washington Post have it wrong. The beauty of the First Amendment is not that it leads us to tolerate the insignificant antics of the Fred Phelpses of the world. Rather, it is that the First Amendment permits us—and commits us—to resolve even our most consequential disagreements peacefully, with words, not force.
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