Supreme Court rules against Alaska man in free speech case

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court is ruling against an Alaska resident in a case that affects people arrested by law enforcement officers who want to sue and claim their arrest was retaliation for something they said or wrote.

The high court ruled Tuesday that because the officers had probable cause to arrest Russell Bartlett, his lawsuit fails.

Bartlett was arrested in 2014 at Arctic Man. It’s a snowmobile and ski race event that draws thousands to a remote campsite in Alaska. Bartlett was arrested for disorderly conduct after exchanging words with two troopers investigating underage drinking.

The charges against Bartlett were ultimately dismissed but Bartlett sued claiming his arrest was retaliation for comments he made to the officers. His lawsuit was first dismissed but then revived.