Online court records indicate both sides presented their cases during a hearing that lasted approximately an hour. Judge Gaitan took the argument under advisement.
At the present time, an injunction is still in place keeping Missouri's law preventing the church's members from protesting at military funerals from being enforced. The lawsuit filed by church pastor Fred Phelps' sister, Shirley Phelps Roeper, with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, argues that Missouri's law violates the church members' First Amendment rights of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of assembly.
The church's members protest at military funerals as part of their claim that the soldiers deserved to die because of the United States' tolerance of gays.
Attorney General Chris Koster, a defendant in the case, argued in a May 24 brief that Missouri's law does not violate the First Amendment:
The record shows, and State defendants anticipate the evidence at trial will show, that these types of provoking signs are “sound bites” designed to provoke and play no essential part in the exposition of ideas. See plaintiff’s deposition at 75:12 (“sound bites”). In fact, plaintiff describes in her deposition how she and other church members decide which signs to bring to a particular protest: “Well, when I went to the Catholic high school this morning, I made absolutely certain that I had priests rape boys, and Pope in hell, and the Pope is lying.”
Plaintiff’s deposition at p. 55:18-21; see also plaintiff’s deposition at p. 55:24 – 56:5 (“We have thousands of signs, but they fall under categories. We have military signs. We have government signs. We have individuals, like when we’re going to picket Elton John. I’ve got a couple of his signs. No joke. Elton John and Billy Joel did a series of concerts this year, and we caught them in Tulsa, in Chicago, in Des Moines. You understand?”).