Cable news host steps forward to pay fallen Marine family’s court-ordered expenses
The O'Reilly Factor host Bill O’Reilly stepped forward and said, “That is an outrage… I will pay Mr. Snyder’s obligation.”
March 31 2010
By Kevin Dayhoff By Kevin Dayhoff http://kevindayhoff.blogspot.com/2010/03/oreilly-steps-forward-to-pay-fallen.html
Fox News cable news host Bill O'Reilly has said that he will pay the $16,500 legal bill for the father of fallen U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Matthew A. Snyder, of Westminster who was killed instantly March 3, 2006 while on assignment in Al Qaim, Iraq.
Protesters led by Fred Phelps, of the Topeka, Kansas Westboro Baptist Church protested at Lance Cpl. Snyder’s funeral at his funeral service which was held in his home parish of St. John Catholic Church in Westminster on March 10, 2006.
According to news reports, Phelps and the church have picketed a number of military funerals around the country claiming that the deaths of U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq are punishment for the nation’s tolerance of homosexuality.
In response to the protests, Lance Cpl. Snyder’s father, Albert Snyder, of York, Pa., sued Phelps, his daughters Shirley Phelps-Roper and Rebecca Phelps-Davis, and the church and won an $11 million damage award for emotional distress and invasion of privacy in October 2007.
The judge subsequently reduced the amount to $5 million. However, the verdict was thrown out on appeal in the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Maryland, which last Friday ordered Snyder to pay the costs of Phelps’ appeal.
Meanwhile the Fourth Circuit’s decision has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court which agreed earlier in the month to consider whether or not the protesters’ messages, which include phrases such as ‘Thank God for dead soldiers,’ are protected by the “time, place and manner” precedent under the First Amendment which addresses the competing privacy and religious rights of the mourners.
Sean Summers and Craig Trebilcock, the York, Pennsylvania attorneys representing Snyder are doing the work for free; however the filing requirements for an appeal the U.S. Supreme Court can be expensive. A situation only exacerbated the decision last Friday that Snyder pay the court expenses involved in the Fourth Circuit’s decision, which has subsequently made national news.
Various legal experts have said in news reports that the Fourth Circuit had the discretion to hold off on making a ruling until the Supreme Court made its decision.
Meanwhile, a web site, MatthewSnyder.org, has been created by the law firm of Barley Snyder, LLC, who is representing the Snyder family for folks who would like to donate money for the Snyder family's continuing legal expenses.
In a phone interview this afternoon with this reporter, a representative of the firm said that all the money collected will go towards the expenses that will be incurred for preparing the case for the U.S. Supreme Court, “which can be pretty hefty…
“Not the attorney fees, because we are representing the family for free,” she added.
O’Reilly steps forward.
Yesterday on “The O'Reilly Factor,” O’Reilly stepped forward and said, “That is an outrage… I will pay Mr. Snyder’s obligation. I am not going to let this injustice stand…
“It is obvious that they were disturbing the peace by disrupting the funeral. They should have been arrested, but our system is so screwed up that loons are allowed to run wild. Snyder is fighting the good fight, and he is taking his case to the Supreme Court as he should. We are behind him 100 percent,” opined O’Reilly on the broadcast.
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear Snyder’s appeal during its October term and with a verdict will be announced in the middle of next year.
As for media reports that O’Reilly has volunteered to pay the appellate expenses ordered by the Fourth Circuit, the representative from Barley Snyder, LLC said that the phone has ringing off the hook as a result of those reports…
She added that she had also heard that (O’Reilly has said he will contribute) but cannot confirm at this point that he has indeed written a check, “Although I am sure he is good to his word.”
20100331 sdosmked Cable news host to pay to Snyder family court exps
Labels: Free Speech, Free Speech protesters, Iraq War, Iraq War Carroll Co Reaction, Iraq War CCo Cpl Snyder KIA 2Mar06, Journalists O'Reilly-Bill, Supreme Court of the US
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