Politicians used the onset of Memorial Day weekend to side with the sentimental favorite in the upcoming Supreme Court case Snyder v. Phelps.
This is what we call not-a-coincidence.
On Friday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid joined other veteran-loving lawmakers in filing an amicus brief in the high-profile case. This is the case which centers on a grotesque protest waged at the funeral of Marine Matthew Snyder. The seemingly sodomy-obsessed Westboro Baptist Church members traveled from Kansas to Maryland so they could hold signs outside Snyder's funeral saying things like "God Hates Fags."
"We know it’s evil," Reid declared Friday. "But a court in our country has said fanatics had a right to ruin the only funeral the Snyders will ever have for their son Matthew, and there is nothing they can do about it."
Veterans groups have been urging states, too, to align themselves with the Snyder family; some, including Kansas, already have.
Suits & Sentences will be interested to see whether any elected official dares weigh in on the other side. That, frankly, would take courage, because it would mean aligning with an entirely unsympathetic bunch in order to support a crucial principle involving free speech. Principles are harder to support when they are embedded in unpopular people.
So, in this case, siding with the Snyder family becomes a proxy for being a supporter of veterans. That is to say, it's more a political statement than a weighing of constitutional values.