Westboro Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

BY Michelle Garcia

August 17 2010 3:00 PM ET

A federal judge has rejected Missouri's law barring groups like the Westboro Baptist Church from picketing at funerals for fallen military personnel.

Members of the Topeka, Kan.–based congregation carry signs such as "Thank God for Dead Soldiers" and "AIDS Cures Fags." The state legislature passed a law barring groups from protesting within 300 feet of a private service.

The U.S. Supreme Court, however, granted an injunction to block the law until it could be challenged in the federal courts. Judge Fernando Gaitan, in a 19-page order issued Monday, wrote that the ban violated free speech rights outlined in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, according to CNN.

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