Heath Hooper


On March 3, 2006, Marine Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder died while serving a tour of duty in Iraq. After hearing of his funeral, members of the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church attended and protested the Maryland ceremony bearing graphic photos and signs declaring "Thank God for IEDs" and "Thank God for Dead Soldiers." The church members did so in reflection of their religious belief that God has doomed America and its military missions because of the country's tolerance for homosexuality. Following the protest, Matthew Snyder's father, Albert Snyder, sued the Westboro Baptist Church for a variety of civil wrongs, including intentional infliction of emotional distress,4 thus setting up a conflict pitting free speech against tort liability that ultimately reached the United States Supreme Court.

Included in

Law Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.