While expressing disdain for the virulent protests staged at military funerals by members of a Kansas church, some Supreme Court justices on Wednesday seemed reluctant to upset First Amendment precedents that protect even the most obnoxious speech from punishment.

The Court heard arguments in Snyder v. Phelps, which asks whether the First Amendment allows the family of Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, killed in Iraq in 2006, to recover damages for intrusion upon seclusion and intentional infliction of emotional distress from members of the Westboro Baptist Church.

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