Supreme Court Rules Against Cheney Critic
Steven Howards sued Secret Service agents for arresting him
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2012 5:05 PM CDT
Former Vice President Dick Cheney speaks at Inova Heart and Vascular Institute cardiovascular symposium in McLean, Va., Friday, April 27, 2012.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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(Newser) – The Colorado man arrested for confronting Dick Cheney in 2006 ran out of luck at the Supreme Court today, Reuters reports. Steven Howards, who had approached Cheney at a mall in Beaver Creek, Colorado, and told him his "policies in Iraq are disgusting," was arrested by Secret Service agents and handed over to local law enforcement. Howards sued the agents, saying they had violated his free-speech rights under the First Amendment.

But the opinion by Justice Clarence Thomas ruled that agents protecting public officials can make such arrests with sufficient or probable cause. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg agreed in a separate statement, saying the agents "were duty bound" to consider Howards' remarks when deciding "whether he posed an immediate threat to the vice president's physical security." As for Howards, he got off when a harassment charge against him was dropped.