Activist Fane Lozman returns to the Supreme Court for the second time

Activist Fane Lozman is returning to the Supreme after his 2006 arrest during a Riviera Beach council meeting. (City of Riviera Beach)

Activist Fane Lozman is headed back to the Supreme Court of The United States for the second time.

Police in Riviera Beach arrest Lozman on Nov. 15, 2006 while he delivered public comments at a city council meeting.

“They were trying to shut me up, they didn’t want to hear what I had to say and they accomplished that by dragging me off to a holding cell at the police department,” he said.

The state attorney later dropped the criminal charges, but that arrest and the circumstances surrounding it are now headed to the highest court in the land.

Lozman, a former Marine, is challenging an earlier appeals court decision.

At the heart of the case is whether the existence of probable cause defeats a First Amendment retaliatory arrest claim as a matter of law.

“Our position is the law should be to uphold the tenants of the first amendment, where you can say negative things about your government and not have a bogus arrest to drag you off to jail,” Lozman said.

This will be Lozman’s second trip to the Supreme Court.

Nearly 5 years ago, the court ruled in his favor after the City of Riviera Beach arrested and demolished his floating home.

Riviera Beach Mayor Thomas Masters, who was not in office at the time of the arrest, says he frowns upon the incident.

“To go that far, that’s troubling to arrest before someone says what they’re going to say,” he said.

Lozman agrees.

“I have a passion for the first amended, somebody has to stand up for it,” Lozman said.

Oral arguments are expected in late February or March.

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