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Mar 29, 2010 3:52 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Marine's dad ordered to pay protesters' court fees

Lawyers for the father of a Marine who died in Iraq say a court has ordered him to pay legal costs for the anti-gay protesters who picketed his son's funeral. The protesters are led by Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church.

Albert Snyder of York, Pa., had won a $5 million verdict against Phelps, but it was thrown out on appeal. On Friday, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Maryland ordered Snyder to pay the costs of Phelps' appeal.

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed earlier this month to consider whether the protesters' provocative messages, which include phrases like "Thank God for dead soldiers," are protected by the First Amendment. Lawyers say Snyder already is struggling to come up with the fees associated with filing the brief with the high court.

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