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"Since the day the ink dried on the Bill of Rights, "[t]he right of an American citizen to criticize public officials and policies . . . is 'the central meaning of the First Amendment.'" Glasson v. City of Louisville, 518 F.2d 899, 904 (6th Cir. 1975) (quoting New York Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 273 (1964)). There can be no doubt that the freedom to express disagreement with state action, without fear of reprisal based on the _expression, is unequivocally among the protections provided by the First Amendment. See id.; Bloch, 156 F.3d at 682; see also Barrett v. Harrington, 130 F.3d 246, 264 (6th Cir. 1997) ("[T]he First Amendment right to criticize public officials is well-established and supported by ample case law. Furthermore, it is well-established that a public official's retaliation against an individual exercising his or her First Amendment rights is a violation of § 1983."); Duran v. City of Douglas, 904 F.2d 1372, 1378 (9th Cir. 1990) ("[G]overnment officials in general, and police officers in particular, may not exercise their authority for personal motives, particularly in response to real or perceived slights to their dignity. Surely, anyone who takes an oath of office knows - or should know - that much.")."by TruePatriotMcCurdy v Montgomery County, Ohio, 240 F3d 512 (6th Cir. 2001) Pete Inc“We first consider whether “the facts alleged show the [defendants’] conduct violated a constitutional right.” Saucier v. Katz, 533 U.S. 194, 201 (2001). Next, we determine whether that right was “clearly established” at the time of the alleged violation. Id. Applying this inquiry while viewing the facts in the light most favorable to Plaintiffs, the district court erred in granting summary judgment on this claim.Plaintiffs’ Right Against Retaliation“As a threshold matter, we must determine whether, when “[t]aken in the light most favorable to the party asserting the injury, . . . the facts alleged show the officer’s conduct violated a constitutional right.” Saucier, 533 U.S. at 201. We evaluate claims that state actors retaliated against a claimant in response to his exercise of free speech under the framework generally set forth in Mount Healthy City Sch. Dist. Bd. of Educ. v. Doyle, 429 U.S. 274 (1977). Under MountHealthy and its progeny, a plaintiff must show that (1) he was participating in a constitutionally protected activity; (2) defendant’s action injured plaintiff in a way “likely [to] chill a person of ordinary firmness from” further participation in that activity; and (3) in part, plaintiff’s constitutionally protected activity motivated defendant’s adverse action. Bloch v. Ribar, 156 F.3d 673, 678 (6th Cir. 1998) (internal citations omitted); see also Thaddeus-X v. Blatter, 175 F.3d 378, 394 (6th Cir. 1999) (en banc). Once a plaintiff raises an inference that the defendant’s conduct was motivated in part by plaintiff’s protected activity, the burden shifts and defendant “can demonstrate that it would have taken the same action in the absence of the protected activity.” Arnett v. Myers, 281 F.3d 552, 560- 61 (6th Cir. 2002) (citing Thaddeus-X, 175 F.3d at 399). The inquiry of “whether activity is ‘protected’ or an action is ‘adverse’” is context-specific. Thaddeus-X, 175 F.3d at 388.“The First Amendment generally protects Plaintiffs’ right to display signs communicating their views on abortion, and “[t]he fact that the messages conveyed by those communications may be offensive to their recipients does not deprive them of constitutional protection.” Hill v. Colorado, 530 U.S. 703, 714-15 (2000); see also Terminiello v. City of Chicago, 337 U.S. 1, 4 (1949) (“Speech is often provocative and challenging. It may strike at prejudices and preconceptions and have profound unsettling effects . . . . That is why freedom of speech, though not absolute, . . . is nevertheless protected against censorship or punishment.”). The district court correctly found that Plaintiffs had “engaged in protected activity,” (J.A. at 116), and Defendants do not argue otherwise. We next consider whether the adverse action “would chill or silence a ‘person of ordinary firmness’ from future First Amendment activities.” Thaddeus-X, 175 F.3d at 397 (citation omitted) (noting the “standard is amenable to all retaliation claims”). Here, Plaintiffs need not show they were actually deterred from exercising their right to free speech, but rather must show the actions were “capable of deterring a person of ordinary firmness from exercising his or her right[s].” Id. At 398. A chilling effect sufficient under this prong is not born of de minimis threats or “inconsequential actions,” but neither does the requisite showing permit “solely egregious retaliatory acts . . . to proceed past summary judgment.” Id.“Deprivation of one’s liberty of movement can hardly be classed “inconsequential;” indeed, the Founders endeavored scrupulously to protect this liberty in the Constitution. See U.S. const. amend. IV; U.S. const. amend. XIV. A two and one-half hour detention absent probable cause, accompanied by a search of both their vehicles and personal belongings, conducted in view of an ever-growing crowd of on-lookers, would undoubtedly deter an average law-abiding citizen from similarly expressing controversial views on the streets of the greater Dayton area. See McCurdy v. Montgomery County, 240 F.3d 512, 520 (6th Cir. 2001) (impliedly acknowledging an arrest without probable cause constitutes adverse action of sufficient consequence); cf. Lucas v. Monroe County, 203 F.3d 964, 974 (6th Cir. 2000) (loss of business after being removed from a police station’s rotating call list sufficient to “deter the average wrecker service operator” from similarly criticizing defendant sheriff).
1st AmendA Book Named "John Cleland's Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure" v. Attorney General of Massachusetts 383 u.s. 413 (1966)Valley Forge Christian College v. Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Inc. 454 u.s. 464 (1982)Board of Airport Commissioners of the City of Los Angeles v. Jews for Jesus, Inc. 482 u.s. 569 (1987)County of Allegheny v. American Civil Liberties Union, Greater Pittsburgh Chapter 492 u.s. 573 (1989)Board of Education of Westside Community Schools v. Mergens By and Through Mergens 496 u.s. 226 (1990)
Freedom of assembly