Willamette Law Online

United States Supreme Court Certiorari Granted


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Wood v. Moss

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: November 26, 2013
Case #: 13-115
711 F.3d 941 (9th Cir. 2012)
Full Text Opinion: http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2009/07/16/07-36018.pdf

First Amendment: (1) Whether viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment occurred when the Secret Service moved anti-Bush demonstrators, but not pro-Bush demonstrators; and (2) whether the Secret Service are entitled to qualified immunity.

Pro- and anti-President Bush demonstrators assembled outside a restaurant where the President was dining. To maintain the safety of the President, the Secret Service directed local police to move anti-Bush demonstrators, but not pro-Bush demonstrators. The anti-Bush demonstrators resisted and the police used force, such as shoving, striking with clubs and pepper spray, to move the anti-Bush demonstrators. 

The anti-Bush demonstrators filed suit against the Secret Service for violating their First Amendment rights under view point discrimination. The United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit denied the Secret Services motion for summary judgment under the theory of qualified immunity stating that the anti-Bush protesters pleaded a plausible First Amendment Constitutional violation.

The Supreme Court granted certiorari to decide (1) whether viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment occurred when the Secret Service moved anti-Bush demonstrators, but not pro-Bush demonstrators; and (2) whether the Secret Service are entitled to qualified immunity.