April 19, 2014

Court upholds part of state law blocking funeral protests

A federal appeals court says the state law keeping protests at least 300 feet from a funeral is constitutional, but says language that would have kept protests even further away is too vague and too great a burden on free speech.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the latter portion, saying it doesn’t specify how far away its buffer zone around funerals would be and could exceed the state’s interest in protecting the peace and privacy of funeral attendees.

It says the 300-foot buffer is acceptable because it is better defined, but says it can not apply to funeral processions.

Both laws passed in 2006.