In a move sure to inflame First Amendment tensions, President Barack Obama has signed into law an act that will limit the activities of persons wishing to protest military funerals.
The "Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012" requires groups that are protesting military funerals to restrict their activities to two hours before and two hours after the funeral itself.
The act seems to fly in the face of the Supreme Court decision in Snyder v. Phelps, where the Court ruled 8-1 that the Westboro Baptist Church, a religious organization that pickets military funerals because of America's acceptance of homosexuality, is protected under the First Amendment to perform their demonstrations.
"I think [the act] is great," said Bob Weatherford, a member of Georgia's Patriot Guard Riders. "I was surprised Obama signed it, especially considering the Supreme Court decision last year."
The Patriot Guard, which was born out of the desire to protect the families of fallen service members from the protesters of military funerals, has transitioned to honoring and respecting military members and their families as the protection mission has tapered off.
Protection is still a large priority for the group, however; according to Weatherford, 50,000 people joined the Patriot Guard Riders in the week after the Snyder decision.
Some local citizens are already coming out on both sides of this contentious issue.
On the Northeast Cobb Patch Facebook page Nicki Merck wrote, "I am totally against people demonstrating at military funerals but I am also against this man we call President violating our constitutional rights because this will end up being a lot more than just military funerals."