A protester who was arrested outside Leonard Leo’s house claims that police violated his First Amendment rights.
In a federal lawsuit submitted on Thursday, Eli Durand-McDonnell, 24, of Bar Harbour, claims that two police officers singled him out amid a large group of protesters at Leo’s request. The allegations against him for unruly behaviour were later dropped.
After the US Supreme Court eliminated the national right to an abortion last summer, the arrest was made during a protest.
Leo, co-chairman of the conservative legal group The Federalist Society, assisted in directing former President Donald Trump’s efforts to reshape the federal judiciary by supplying a list of prospective Supreme Court nominees and mobilising support for them.
On July 31, 2022, Leo’s private security detail contacted the police to his home in Northeast Harbour, and a police officer’s microphone recorded a conversation in which Leo conceded the protesters weren’t on his land. For reportedly cursing at him and his family earlier in the day, Leo singled out Durand-McDonnell. Leo declared, “I believe it’s time for us to file some charges.”
Leo is not being sued. The two cops are the targets of the litigation. The officers didn’t immediately respond to a message left for them.
According to Durand-McDonnell, he was exercising his First Amendment rights, and Maine law further stipulates that an officer must have seen the behaviour in question in order to initiate a misdemeanour arrest.