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Kansas top court rules against law banning funeral picketing

[JURIST] The Kansas Supreme Court ruled [text] Tuesday that the state's anti-funeral picketing law [PDF text; supplemental note, PDF] is unconstitutional, finding that it violates the separation of powers doctrine implied by the Kansas constitution [text]. The court ruled that the law's judicial trigger provision [JURIST report], which said the law could not be enforced until it was declared constitutional by a state or federal court, invalidated the entire law as it would make the courts an "advisory panel" to the legislature. AP has more. The Kansas City Star has local coverage.

The law was passed in response to picketing at military funerals by members of the Westboro Baptist Church [WARNING: readers may find material at this church website offensive; JURIST news archive], who claim that US soldiers have been killed because America tolerates homosexuals. More than 30 states have passed similar laws in response to the group, and a federal law [JURIST report] restricting protests at Arlington National Cemetery and other federal cemeteries has also been passed.

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