Sen. Carper Joins Colleagues, Military Families, and Veteran Advocates to Urge the Supreme Court to Protect Rights of Military Families
WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Carper joined over 40 of his Senate colleagues in signing on to Majority Leader Harry Reid’s amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the right of military families to a peaceful private funeral. Joining the bipartisan group of Senators are Joe Davis of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Phil Riley of the American Legion, Steve Strobridge of Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), and Al Snyder, the father of Marine Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder, an American soldier who died in combat in Iraq in 2006. Matthew’s funeral was marred by ugly, hateful harassment by certain members of the Westboro Baptist Church. The Snyder family won a lawsuit against the church members but it was overturned at the appellate level.
"Today I joined dozens of my colleagues, both Democrat and Republican, in filing an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to protect the sacred right of families of our fallen military personnel to say goodbye to their loved ones at a private funeral, free from harassment," said Sen. Carper. "I am a proud veteran and I served, in part, to protect all Americans’ freedoms, including our freedom of speech. But as much as I respect that freedom, I do not believe that free speech should include disturbing families’ private funerals. Whether it’s a church in Maryland, a cemetery in Kansas, or the mortuary at Dover Air Force Base, we owe those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, and their families, the privacy, peace, and respect they deserve."