Snyder vs. Phelps, and the Outrage Continues

In a previous post I talked about a case that is incredibly polarizing. The news since that post is equally polarizing. The latest court ruling favors Fred Phelps and his church. It’s on hold until the Supreme Court hears the case next term, but Matt’s father Albert has been handed a bill for $16,510 to pay to the defendant, Fred Phelps.

From what I’ve been able to read, this was the order of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. They argue that if you bring a civil suit against someone and lose, you’re responsible for their legal costs. In the abstract that makes sense; it should cut down on frivolous lawsuits and protect defendants from being bankrupted. It should deter someone with financial means to destroy someone who lacks financial means. But I find it puzzling that the 4th Circuit is demanding payment while the case is still on appeal.

Mr. Snyder makes a good case that he cannot afford the legal bill, but it’s unlikely that he’ll actually have to pay it.

  • If he ultimately wins the case he’ll receive damages from Fred Phelps much in excess of this amount.
  • You can click on Matt’s memorial web page and send a donation
  • Bill O’Reilly, who is somebody I’m normally contemptuous of, has promised to pay the bill. It’s rare that I applaud Bill, but I do this time.

I’ll keep you posted.

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