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Justices To Consider Free Speech Claims Over Bush-Era Oregon Protest

AP | Nov. 26, 2013 12:27 p.m.

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AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has agreed to consider dismissing free-speech claims against two Secret Service agents for their role in a 2004 protest in Oregon against President George W. Bush.

The justices said Tuesday they will review a federal appeals court ruling that allowed a lawsuit against the agents to go forward.

The protesters say their First Amendment rights were violated when the agents directed police to move the protesters farther away from the president than pro-Bush demonstrators who gathered in Jacksonville, Ore., during a campaign stop in the final weeks of Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign.

The Obama administration is defending the agents’ actions and says that agents who make on-the-spot decisions about the president’s security should be shielded from liability.

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