Man Critical of Cheney Can’t Sue Secret Service Agents Who Arrested Him

The Supreme Court today unanimously decided that two secret service agents who allegedly arrested a man in retaliation for disparaging remarks he made about then Vice President Dick Cheney are entitled to qualified immunity. Steven Howards sued the two secret service agents following an event at a shopping mall in which Howards was overheard saying that he “was going to ask [the Vice President] how many kids he’s killed today,” and then telling Vice President Cheney that his “policies in Iraq are disgusting.” Howards also touched Cheney on the shoulder and was arrested and charged with harassment after lying to an agent about it. The harassment charge was later dropped. The Court reasoned that the agents were entitled to qualified immunity because no clear legal principle that barred their conduct.

— Alex Brown