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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

In 8-0 Ruling, U.S. Supreme Court Allows Immunity Protections for Secret Service, Law Enforcement to Trump Free Speech Rights of Americans

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that two Secret Service agents who violated the First Amendment rights of Steven Howards are immune from prosecution. As the Christian Science Monitor noted, the court’s decision in Reichle “is consistent with a trend at the high court in recent years granting government officials broad immunity from civil lawsuits charging that officials used their government power to violate constitutional rights.” The Rutherford Institute filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Reichle v. Howards defending the right of Americans to sue law enforcement officials over arrests made in retaliation for unpopular or critical speech. At issue in the case was whether law enforcement officers can be held liable for retaliating against individuals engaging in unpopular or critical speech by arresting them, even when those arrests are made under the pretext that the officers had probable cause to believe the individual had committed an offense—no matter how minor.
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The Rutherford Institute

Judy Morris,
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