Arizona Legislature To Announce Anti-Westboro Law To Protect Shooting Victims
"We're going to try to protect the families from undue harassment," State Rep. Daniel Patterson (D), one of the leaders of a bipartisan group of legislators, told Talking Points Memo Monday.
While the Topeka-based congregation has been best known for their incendiary anti-gay, pro-dead soldier messages, they have now decided to take their insensitive protest to the services of victims -- including a 9-year-old girl and a 30-year-old Giffords aide who was set to be married -- killed by Jared Lee Loughner on Saturday.
The chair of the Pima County GOP, for one, has since said that he thinks such a law is a dangerous infringement on free speech laws.
"I don't know what's in the law, but I do think it's indicative of always looking to the law to solve problems," Brian Miller told TPM in a later interview. "We will not sign on or advocate any policy that limits free speech."
Miller tells TPM that there are plans to enact a non-legislative, 1st Amendment-preserving blockade to the agitating religious group:
The county GOP and the Pima County Democrats plan to work jointly to stage a counter-protest that Miller says will "block" Westboro and its infamous leader, Fred Phelps, from getting close to the mourners.
The Supreme Court is currently considering a case against Westboro filed by the father of a dead Marine who is trying to seek damages from the group, which picketed his son's funeral.