Free Speech Arguments – Episode 4: Gonzalez v. Trevino

The Free Speech Arguments Podcast brings you oral arguments from important First Amendment free political speech cases across the country. Find us on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

March 20, 2024   •  By IFS Staff   •    •  

Episode 4: Gonzalez v. Trevino

Sylvia Gonzalez v. Edward Trevino, II, et al., argued before the Supreme Court of the United States on March 20, 2024.

From the Petition for a Writ of Certiorari:

In Nieves v. Bartlett, this Court held that probable cause does not bar a retaliatory arrest claim against a “police officer” when a plaintiff shows “that he was arrested when otherwise similarly situated individuals not engaged in the same sort of protected speech had not been.”
Here, a 72-year-old councilwoman organized a petition criticizing a city manager, and unwittingly placed it in her binder during a council meeting. Two months later, respondents—the city manager’s allies—engineered her arrest for tampering with a government record. That charge has no precedent involving similar conduct, was supported by an affidavit based on the councilwoman’s viewpoints, and skirted ordinary procedures to ensure her jailing. The councilwoman sued respondents but no arresting officer.

Questions Presented:

  1. Whether the Nieves probable cause exception can be satisfied by objective evidence other than specific examples of arrests that never happened.
  2. Whether the Nieves probable cause rule is limited to individual claims against arresting officers for split-second arrests.


Listen to the argument here:


IFS Staff

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