Palm Beach Post: Lozman faces Riviera Beach in U.S. Supreme Court for rare second time (In the News)

Palm Beach Post: Lozman faces Riviera Beach in U.S. Supreme Court for rare second time

By Jane Musgrave

On Tuesday, five years after the 56-year-old former U.S. Marine, commodities trader and self-made millionaire notched his first U.S. Supreme Court victory against the city, he will be back for round two

Constitutional lawyer Floyd Abrams, who helped the New York Times win the right to publish The Pentagon Papers over the objections of the Nixon Administration, has thrown his considerable legal weight behind Lozman and his legal team from Stanford University Law School.

“Arrests made in retaliation for the exercise of First Amendment rights are a particularly chilling form of governmental response to constitutionally protected but officially disfavored speech,” Abrams wrote on behalf of the Virginia-based Institute for Free Speech…

Abrams and some of the others who support Lozman suggest a compromise similar to that embraced by the 9th Circuit. While police or elected officials could be allowed to argue that they had probable cause to arrest someone, that would be only one of the factors that would be considered.

“If the presence of probable cause alone defeats the existence of a First Amendment retaliatory arrest claim under all circumstances, arrests rooted in an effort to stifle protected speech will become judicially unscrutinized and undisturbed throughout the nation,” Abrams wrote.

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.