OCTOBER TERM, 2018
NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is
being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued.
The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been
prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader.
See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co., 200 U. S. 321, 337.
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
NIEVES ET AL. v. BARTLETT
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR
THE NINTH CIRCUIT
No. 171174. Argued November 26, 2018Decided May 28, 2019
Respondent Russell Bartlett was arrested by police officers Luis Nieves
and Bryce Weight for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest during
"Arctic Man," a raucous winter sports festival held in a remote part of
Alaska. According to Sergeant Nieves, he was speaking with a group
of attendees when a seemingly intoxicated Bartlett started shouting
at them not to talk to the police. When Nieves approached him, Bart-
lett began yelling at the officer to leave. Rather than escalate the
situation, Nieves left. Bartlett disputes that account, claiming that
he was not drunk at that time and did not yell at Nieves. Minutes
later, Trooper Weight says, Bartlett approached him in an aggressive
manner while he was questioning a minor, stood between Weight and
the teenager, and yelled with slurred speech that Weight should not
speak with the minor. When Bartlett stepped toward Weight, the of-
ficer pushed him back. Nieves saw the confrontation and initiated an
arrest. When Bartlett was slow to comply, the officers forced him to
the ground. Bartlett denies being aggressive and claims that he was
slow to comply because of a back injury. After he was handcuffed,
Bartlett claims that Nieves said "bet you wish you would have talked
to me now."
Bartlett sued under 42 U. S. C. 1983, claiming that the officers
violated his First Amendment rights by arresting him in retaliation
for his spee