March 19, 2014
The National Law Journal Reports on Polsinelli Amicus Brief in the Supreme Court of the United States

The National Law Journal
reports in a news article on March 19, 2014 concerning Polsinelli's amicus brief in the Supreme Court of the United States in which we advocate using Google Maps Street View to resolve a First Amendment case involving the Secret Service and anti-Bush demonstrators. The firm's amicus brief was on behalf of the National Conference of State Legislatures, U.S. Conference of Mayors and other organizations.  

Polsinelli's Bennett Cohen argues that the Google Maps street view tour confirms an alternative explanation for moving the anti-Bush demonstrators.

"By considering the geographic and architectural features revealed by Google Maps, the Court can readily appreciate that the Secret Service agents had sound security-based reasons for moving the anti-Bush protesters on the corner of Fourth and California Streets further away from the President," he writes.

And, he adds, because the case involves protection of the president during an outdoor protest, this is a "rare situation" in which the qualified-immunity analysis should take into account the content of the demonstrators' speech.

"The Secret Service agents were entitled to consider how a threat to the President was more likely to emerge from the group of Bush protesters than from the group of supporters—another justification for moving the protesters further away from the President than the corner of Fourth and California Streets," he argues.

Cohen is no stranger to qualified-immunity cases—he was involved in another Secret Service case before the Supreme Court: Reichle v. Howard (2012), in which the agent prevailed.

The full article is for paid subscribers only.

Bennett Cohen was the principal author of the amicus brief and his colleagues, Sean Gallagher and Britton St. Onge, assisted.