Saturday, March 05, 2016

8th Circuit: Westboro Church Challenge To Picketing Law Should Be Dismissed As Moot

In 2014, a Missouri federal district court rejected a vagueness challenge mounted by the Westboro Baptist Church to Missouri statutes that banned protest activities within three hundred feet of a funeral. (See prior posting.)  However, while a motion to amend the judgment was still pending, the Missouri legislature repealed the statutes at issue.  In Phelps-Roper v. Koster, (8th Cir., March 4, 2016), the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals held that when the statutes were repealed, the district court should have vacated its judgment and dismissed the case as moot. It also held that the district court had improperly computed the amount of attorneys' fees that should be awarded to plaintiff.