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Supreme Court to hear Cheney-Secret Service case


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Reuters) - The Supreme Court said on Monday it will decide whether a man arrested after touching then-Vice President Dick Cheney and criticizing his Iraq war policies can sue two Secret Service agents.

The justices agreed to hear an Obama administration-backed appeal by agents Virgil Reichle and Dan Doyle, who argue that they cannot be held personally liable for damages because their arrest of Steven Howards was supported by sufficient cause.

Howards claimed the agents retaliated against him for exercising his constitutionally protected free-speech rights. He claimed his arrest violated his rights because the agents lacked probable cause to believe he had committed a crime.

Howards was arrested after he approached Cheney during a June 16, 2006 visit to a mall in Beaver Creek, Colorado. When Howards learned Cheney was at the mall, a Secret Service agent said he overheard Howards say into his cell phone, "I'm going to ask him (Cheney) how many kids he's killed today."

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