The Constitutional Right To Not Be Sued Too Harshly
I've never seen it in the Constitution either, but U.S. District Judge Richard Bennett seems to know all about it. For once, conservatives are right when they talk about “unelected judges legislating from the bench.”
Last October a jury ruled that the Westboro Baptist Church — that’s Fred Phelps and all of the other “church” members who look just like him — had to pay $10.9 million to Albert Snyder and his family. Snyder’s son Matthew was a Marine Lance Corporal who was killed in Iraq. Fred Phelps and his gang of mutants were picketing Matthew’s funeral. Their reason — as we all know by now — is that American military deaths in Iraq are God’s way of punishing America for tolerating homosexuals.
So Albert Snyder sued Fred Phelps’ “church” for emotional distress and invasion of privacy and was awarded $10.9 million. And now Judge Richard Bennett has reduced the award to $5 million. His reasoning was based on “the need to weigh any harm Snyder suffered against the financial resources of the church.”
Or maybe it’s up to Fred Phelps to worry about his own financial resources. He could protect them himself by not engaging in hateful acts which would logically result in a $10 million verdict. You know, that “individual responsibility” that conservatives are always talking about.
People have lost their homes and businesses, and been forced into bankruptcy, by expensive lawsuits. Whether that’s right or not, it’s a fact. Since nobody else has any guarantee that they won't be sued into bankruptcy, why should a hateful shitbag like Fred Phelps have his own personal safety net that nobody else is entitled to?
cross-posted at Bring It On!