NM Joins Free Speech Limits Case

New Mexico – New Mexico Attorney General Gary King has joined an effort asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a lower court decision that tossed out a verdict against a Kansas church whose members carried inflammatory signs while picketing the funeral of a Marine killed in Iraq.

King says the First Amendment was not intended, in his words, "to give extremists the right to attack private individuals the way this family was victimized."

A 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel tossed out a $5 million verdict against protesters who carried such signs as "Thank God for dead soldiers" outside the funeral.

King's friend-of-the-court brief against the Westboro Baptist Church says states need to protect the privacy and emotional health of grieving families.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.