WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Supreme Court is now taking up a case involving a presidential visit to the Rogue Valley 10 years ago.
The incident occurred outside the Jacksonville Inn, during a campaign stop for then-President George W. Bush in 2004. President Bush was eating a meal at the restaurant as crowds gathered outside. During that time, a group of people claim they were moved away by the secret service because they were speaking out against the president.
That group then got into a clash with local police, and were shot with plastic balls filled with mace.
The protestors’ attorney argued that the secret service’s decision to move the group violated their first amendment rights to free speech. Wednesday, he made his case in front of the Supreme Court.
“I think we made our points to the court,” said Steven Wilker, attorney for the plaintiffs. “There were some justices who were clearly more skeptical than others to our claims.”
Some of the justices asked about the security needed during the incident, and whether moving the protestors was necessary in the moment.
Justice Antonin Scalia said if the reason to move the protestors was done with safety in mind, “it doesn’t matter whether there was any intent to suppress anti-Bush demonstrators.”
Justices will continue to deliberate on the case. Wilker says he expects a decision to be made sometime in June.