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Secret Service Agents Are Immune From Suit

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In Reichle et al. v. Howards (No. 11-262), a unanimous Supreme Court held that secret service agents are immune from suit for a First Amendment retaliatory arrest claim if they have probable cause.  Specifically, the court noted that the agents were entitled to “qualified immunity” from suit because at the time of the arrest, “it was not clearly established that an arrest supported by probable cause would give rise to a First Amendment violation.”

According to the Court, “to be clearly established a right must be sufficiently clear ‘that every reasonable official would [have understood] that what he is doing violates that right.””  Importantly, the Court also held that it has “never recognized a First Amendment right to be free from a retaliatory arrest that is supported by probable cause…”


Written by Admin

June 7, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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