The US Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear a freedom of expression case involving an opponent of the Iraq war arrested for touching the shoulder of then-vice president Dick Cheney.
The justices said they would hear arguments in the case of Steven Howards, arrested in 2006 by Secret Service agents who were subsequently sued by the man for violations of his constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression.
A Colorado court ruled the 2006 arrest was justified but also allowed Howards to pursue a lawsuit against the two agents who arrested them.
The agents asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the case, and have been backed by the US Justice Department and 20 states.
They claim that allowing the suit to proceed “exposes the Secret Service agents to the risk of burdensome litigation and potential personal liability each time they confront a potential threat.”
Howards was arrested after the incident involving Cheney in June 2006 in Beaver Creek, Colorado. Authorities said he told Cheney that the US policy in Iraq was “disgusting” and touched the vice president with an open hand. He later denied any physical contact with Cheney.
The court will hear arguments on whether the arrest was a violation of free speech and whether the agents are immune from lawsuits in the conduct of their duty.
MSNBC analyst shreds GOP claim impeachment is an effort to change the 2016 election
Republicans have claimed that the reason Democrats have sought impeachment, either from the Russia scandal to the Ukraine scandal, is that they want to unmake the 2016 election. Speaking to MSNBC Sunday, NYU Law Prof. Melissa Murray ripped the claim to shreds.
First, impeachment would only remove President Donald Trump is the Republican Senate voted to do so. If the president were removed, the new president wouldn't be Hillary Clinton; it would be Mike Pence, getting Democrats no victories other than upholding the rule of law.
"As these proceedings go away, there is building support for impeachment; it will require a supermajority of the Senate in order to convict and remove the president, which will require some Republican Senators to peel off and depart from the path," Murray said. "But I think the really important thing that Bob has mentioned here is this idea ta the Republicans are taunting that impeachment is a backend effort to basically subvert the will of the people. I think the testimony that was presented yesterday makes clear that that claim is specious."
Rudy Giuliani’s devotion has escorted Trump straight to impeachment
"Step by step, [Rudy Giuliani] has escorted President Trump to the brink of impeachment," The New York Times said in a piece following the president's top lawyer and his impact on the scandals facing the 45th president.
Two associates of Giuliani's have already been indicted, Giuliani is under criminal investigation from federal prosecutors, and he was never graced with a top position in the Trump government.
"The separate troubles he has gotten his client and himself into are products of the uniquely powerful position he has fashioned, a hybrid of unpaid personal counsel to the president and for-profit peddler of access and advice," The Times said Sunday.
Trump team ‘is as incompetent, shambolic, paranoid, and given to conspiracy theories as it appears’: MSNBC panel
In a Sunday evening panel discussion, MSNBC commentators explained that the White House appears to be just as chaotic and marred by chaos as the rumors say.
Many in the White House learned that the president's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was working overseas in Ukraine. Giuliani claimed that he's been producing a film that he couldn't get Fox News to run, as it will appear on the fringe network OAN.
"What Rudy Giuliani is doing is using Kremlin-manufactured propaganda as a defensive shield for the president," said CNBC's John Harwood. "Fiona Hill was unambiguous in her testimony to the intelligence committee. What Rudy Giuliani has been doing with these two indicted men who are linked to a Russian oligarch who is tied to Russian organized crime, is trying to manufacture a story that Ukraine, rather than Russia or in addition to Russia or differently from Russia, meddle in the campaign. That is false."