Court ruling could bode well for county ordinance
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued a ruling Tuesday that overturns a lower court’s ruling against a city of Manchester ordinance protecting the rights of funeral attendees “to mourn in peace and privacy for a limited time in a limited space.”
The plaintiffs in this case are members of the Westboro Baptist Church, which has become nationally known for protesting at funerals of fallen soldiers. The American Civil Liberties Union has represented Westboro in what it said was a First Amendment issue.
The ruling in favor of Manchester bodes well for St. Charles County in a suit by Westboro members against a county ordinance addressing the same issue. The court concluded in its decision Tuesday “that Manchester has shown a significant government interest in protecting the peace and privacy of funeral attendees for a short time in limited space…”
“This is a great, common-sense decision,” said St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann. “We’re confident it lays the groundwork for the case against St. Charles County to be dismissed.”