A federal appeals court in Virginia is being asked if Westboro Baptist Church was protected by the first amendment when it protested at a soldier's funeral.
A lawyer for the Phelps family church Tuesday urged the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond to overturn a Maryland jury's 5 million dollar judgment.
It was awarded to Matthew Snyder's family. Snyder was a Marine killed in the war in Iraq.
An attorney for the church said the messages were grounded in the congregation's religious beliefs and were protected by the constitution.