Sep 30, 2011 8:59 PM by Gene Cotton

DOJ, 21 AGs support Secret Service agent

DENVER (AP) - Federal and state officials are supporting two Secret Service agents being sued by a man who confronted then-Vice President Dick Cheney.

In a document filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday, the Justice Department and attorneys general from 21 states say allowing the agents to be sued gives suspects a "perverse incentive" to try to anger officers who might fear a lawsuit if they make an arrest.

Agents arrested Steven Howards in the resort town of Beaver Creek, Colo., in 2006 after he touched Cheney on the arm and told him his Iraq War policies were "disgusting." Howards' lawsuit argues Virgil D. "Gus" Reichle Jr. and Dan Doyle arrested him in retaliation for criticizing Cheney.

A Denver-based appellate court ruled the lawsuit can proceed, prompting the agents to appeal.



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