More info about the fascinating viper that is Fred Phelps. The Southern Poverty Law Center has a long article, including a chronology of events in Phelps's life. Phelps was admitted to the Kansas bar, but his career as a lawyer has been, um, colorful. But here's the really interesting couple of items:
In one of several civil rights cases filed by Phelps, an area school district pays almost $9,000 to Evelyn Rene Johnson (and over $10,000 in legal fees to Phelps) to settle a discrimination case.
Another Phelps case results in a settlement for blacks who were illegally searched by police at a party.
In 1986 and 1987, Phelps will receive three awards for his civil rights cases, including one bestowed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
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Phelps files the first of three federal lawsuits against Washburn University Law School after three of his children are denied admission. The suit contends his children should be granted minority status, and thus benefit from affirmative action, because of their association with their father's "civil rights" legal work.
A later suit switches the argument, alleging reverse discrimination because Phelps' children are white. All are dismissed in 1986.
Rev. Phelps, what happened?