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Democrat Blasts AG Cuccinelli on Funeral Protest Issue

June 3, 2010

A leading Democratic legislator is criticizing Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's decision not to intervene on behalf of the father of a Marine whose funeral was picketed by anti-gay protesters carrying inflammatory signs.

Virginia was one of only two states refusing to join in a friend-of-the-court brief supporting Albert Snyder's battle against the fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church. A federal appeals court threw out a $5 million verdict for Snyder, who appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Cuccinelli said concerns about freedom of expression prompted him to keep Virginia out of the fight. House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong said Wednesday that Cuccinelli's decision is "beyond the pale" and does not reflect the wishes of Virginians.

Cuccinelli spokesman Brian Gottstein said Armstrong is using the issue to try to score political points.

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