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September 2021


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Tag: Steven Howards

Supreme Court to Hear Case of Cheney Back-Slap

By Danny Fenster

As Herman Cain knows, it’s a fine line between a friendly pat on the shoulder and a little too much touching. Now, Steven Howards will find out the same.

On Monday the Supreme Court agreed to decide whether or not Howards can sue the Secret Service for denying his right to free speech when protecting then-vice president Dick Cheney during a 2006 incident in Colorado.

At a mall in Beaver Creek, Colo., a Secret Service agent said he heard Howards speaking into his cellphone, describing his plan to ask the vice president “how many kids he’s killed today,” according to the New York Times. Howards later approached Cheney, telling him his administration’s “policies in Iraq are disgusting,” then touched Cheney on the shoulder.

The shoulder tap has been variously described as a pat, a slap and a strike, which caused Cheney’s shoulder to dip, according to the Times. When agents confronted Howards he denied touching the vice president and said “if you don’t want other people sharing their opinions, you should have him avoid public places.” He was then arrested for assault and given to local authorities, charged with harassment–charges which were later dropped.

A federal district judge in Denver ruled that the suit against the agents could proceed.  A three-panel on the Court of Appeals subsequently reversed some of that ruling, saying that agents had a right to arrest Howards after he touched Cheney. Conversely, it ruled that the Howards’s claim for retaliatory arrest could  proceed to trial, saying his First Amendment rights may have been violated because agents could have been “substantially motivated” to take action against him based on his remarks, the Times reported.

The Supreme Court will now take on this touchy issue.

To read more click here.

Secret Service Agents Ask Supreme Court For Immunity from Lawsuit

By Allan Lengel

The legal battle goes on for two Secret Service agents in a case stemming from a 2006 visit to Colorado by Vice President Dick Cheney.

The Associated Press reports that the two agents are asking the Supreme Court to declare them immune from being sued in a First Amendment lawsuit.

The suit was filed by Steven Howards of Colorado, who was arrested by the agents after he touched Cheney on the arm and told him his Iraq war policies were “disgusting,” according to AP.

No fed charges were ever filed and the state charges were dropped. Howards alleged the arrest by agents Virgil D. “Gus” Reichle Jr. and Dan Doyle were in retaliation for criticizing Cheney.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver upheld Howards right to sue the agents.

Justice Dept. Wants Court to Toss Lawsuit Against Secret Service Agents Involving Incident With Ex-Veep Cheney

By Allan Lengel

The Justice Department has jumped into the fray to try and help two Secret Service agents from being sued in a case linked to former vice president Dick Cheney.

The Associated Press reports that the  Department of Justice filed documents in the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver siding with the agents –Virgil D. “Gus” Reichle Jr. and Dan Doyle — who asked that the court overturn the court’s  three-judge panel’s ruling that said Colorado resident Steven Howards could sue them.

AP reported that the Justice Department is arguing that the law protects agents when making split-second decisions when protecting a vice president and president.

AP reported that the Secret Service agents arrested Howards in 2006 after he allegedly approached Cheney at a mall outside of Denver and protested his Iraq policy and touched his shoulder.

Howards alleged in the suit that the arrest was done in retaliation. The feds never charged him and the state dropped charges.

The court panel ruled  last month  that Howards can sue agents on First Amendment grounds, the Associated Press reported. The court ruled that two other agents initially named in the suit are immune in the case.

Last month, Howard’s attorney David Lane said: “I fully intend on deposing the former vice president.”

Denver Fed Judge Refuses to Toss Lawsuit Involving Secret Service and Dick Cheney

This case seems to have an amusing aspect to it. Maybe just the thought of Dick Cheney testifying in court seems to have some entertainment value. 

By Felisa Cardona dick-cheney
The Denver Post
DENVER — A federal judge in Denver has declined to toss out a lawsuit against four U.S. Secret Service agents who arrested a man in Beaver Creek in 2006 after he approached then-Vice President Dick Cheney to criticize the Iraq war.

“There are too many disputed issues of material fact to grant summary judgment in this case,” U.S. District Judge Christine Arguello ruled from the bench Tuesday.

Lawyers for the Secret Service had asked that the case be tossed based on “qualified immunity,” meaning the officers are immune from lawsuits if they make an honest mistake in an arrest.

Steven Howards sued the four agents, claiming they violated his civil rights after he was arrested for allegedly harassing Cheney in June 2006. Howards said he simply walked up to Cheney at a Beaver Creek shopping area, touched him and said his policy in Iraq was “disgusting.”
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