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High Court Hears Suit Over Cheney Event Arrest Of Colorado Man

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Vice President Dick Cheney (Photo by Michael Smith/Getty Images)

Vice President Dick Cheney (Photo by Michael Smith/Getty Images)

DENVER (AP) – The Supreme Court seems inclined to shield federal agents who are protecting government officials from claims of free speech violations, in a case that began with the arrest of a Colorado man who confronted Vice President Dick Cheney.

The justices voiced concern Wednesday that the threat of lawsuits over retaliatory arrests could make Secret Service agents and other officers who protect federal officials hesitate at critical moments, with potentially disastrous results.

The court is being asked to bar lawsuits asserting that an arrest was made in retaliation for what someone said, if a judge has found law enforcement officers had a valid reason for the arrest.

Lawsuits over retaliatory prosecutions already are not allowed in similar circumstances.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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