Dick Cheney lawsuit: Are these Secret Service agents shmucks or are they just doing their job?

What's more important? The President and Vice President of the United Stated or the principles they are there to uphold?

It's a lovely, abstract question with an answer that may prove to be more difficult to answer in the real world we are living in.

And does the fact that Dick Cheney is involved change your answer?

Earlier this week, two Secret Service agents requested immunity from a lawsuit filed by Colorado's Steven Howards, who they had arrested in 2006 after he yelled at Cheney and touched him on the arm while the then-VP was in Beaver Creek. Howards believes his First Amendment rights were violated, since he was criticizing Cheney over his Iraq War policies. He claims that the arrest was made in retaliation for his comments.

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An attorney for the agents, Virgil D. "Gus" Reichle Jr. and Dan Doyle (although they probably wouldn't tell you their names if you asked), says the suit "undermines the ability of Secret Service agents to react quickly and instinctively in the face of potential threats," according to news reports on the case. He added that "it exposes Secret Service agents to the risk of burdensome litigation and potential personal liability each time they confront a potential threat to the president or vice president."

And what about a potential threat to the rights granted to us by the Constitution?

That's where the part about reality comes in.

It will up to the Supreme Court to decide who the shmuck is in this case.

More from our Shmuck archive: "Mike Coffman, repeat Shmuck, wants to make it harder for Spanish speakers to vote."


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