A major civil liberties organization has filed a brief in a case heading to the U.S. Supreme Court that asks the justices to create a deterrent to government agents who would arrest individuals in retaliation for their speech.

The friend-of-the-court filing comes from the Rutherford Institute in the case Virgil D. Reichle Jr. and Dan Doyle vs. Steven Howards.

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Howards was at a Colorado shopping mall with his son when he learned that then-Vice President Dick Cheney was there. Howards decided to approach Cheney and express his opposition to the war in Iraq.

The Institute said Howards “made a telephone call in which he was heard to say that he was going to ask Cheney ‘how many kids he’s killed today.’ The Secret Service agent who overheard Howards’ conversation alerted other agents on the detail to monitor Howards.”

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