Father of Marine killed in Iraq must pay court costs of Phelps clan

Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder died serving his country in Iraq. At his funeral, the Phelps family showed up to protest. Snyder’s family sued them.

This is latest disturbing chapter in this story:

In a decision likely to strike many observers as cruel, a federal appeals court ordered the father of a Marine killed in Iraq whose funeral drew protesters from a church notorious for such demonstrations to pay the church leader’s $16,510 in legal fees.

It strikes me as cruel. Here’s a link to the initial AP article, which included this line:

The decision adds “insult to injury,” said Sean Summers, one of Snyder’s lawyers.

So, the Phelps “won” because they’re protected by the U.S. constitution. And, they spend their days trying to deny legal protections to others. Oh, the irony.

The Snyder family has a website:

The family of Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder, US Marine Corps, has begun this civil lawsuit* against Mr. Phelps and certain members of the so-called Westboro Baptist Church to bring an end to the reign of terror and abuse that they inflicted upon the grieving families of US service members killed in defense of our nation. Using innocent children to deliver their twisted message of hatred and fear, the defendants in this suit have sought to attack the memory of our departed heroes, to strip their loved ones of their dignity, and to use abuse and intimidation as a tool for preventing surviving family members from reaching closure over their loss.

It is the sincere hope of Mr. Al Snyder, Matthew’s father, that this suit will spark similar legal actions against Mr. Phelps wherever he seeks to inflict harm upon the memory of our heroes and their families. If you feel strongly that such actions should be stopped, please consider a donation to help offset the legal expenses of bringing this suit.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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