November 5, 2012 09:44 AM EST |
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court says a South Carolina sheriff’s office can be held liable for attorneys’ fees for stopping abortion protesters in South Carolina who wanted to hold up signs showing aborted fetuses.
Justices on Monday reversed a decision saying the Greenwood County sheriff’s office was not required to pay attorney’s fees in a lawsuit brought by Steven Lefemine and Columbia Christians for Life. The group was told by officers they couldn’t protest with their signs in November 2005. A federal judge agreed that the sheriff was wrong, but did not award damages or lawyer’s fees.
The justices threw out that decision without hearing arguments, saying the legal decision that officers could not stop the protesters “supported the award of attorney’s fees.” The case now goes back to the lower courts