Self defense is a complete defense to an intentional tort where the defendant:
Plaintiff is suing for IIED. Westboro picketed the funeral of plaintiff's son. Westboro held signs disagreeing with America's tolerance of homosexuality. SCOTUS found the issue turned on whether the speech was of public or private concern. Speech is of public concern when it can be considered as relating to any mater of political, social, or other concern to the community. If the speech is of public concern, it is protected. It is irrelevant whether the speech is inappropriate or controversial. SCOTUS found that Westboro's picketing spoke to broader public issues and was therefore shielded.
Holding: The 1st Amendment shields Westboro from tort liability for its picketing.