February 27, 2014 Articles

Supreme Court to Revisit Qualified Immunity and Pleading Standards

The Supreme Court should adopt an approach to inferences that recognizes the primary role of district courts in deciding which inferences may be sufficient to support a claim.

By Simona Grossi and Allan Ides – February 27, 2014

On March 26, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Wood v. Moss, No. 13-115, a case involving a claim of viewpoint discrimination lodged against two Secret Service agents who were tasked with protecting President George W. Bush.

In October 2004, two groups of demonstrators assembled near the Jacksonville Inn in Jacksonville, Oregon, where President George W. Bush was scheduled to dine. One group was pro-Bush and the other was anti-Bush. When President Bush arrived at the inn, both groups were in identical proximity to the president, each on a sidewalk near or adjacent to the inn. Shortly after the president’s arrival, Secret Service agents ordered the anti-Bush group to move to a place where they were less visible and less audible to the president. The pro-Bush group was not required to move. Members of the anti-Bush group sued the Secret Service agents claiming a violation of their First Amendment rights.

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