A protester who was arrested final yr outdoors Leonard Leo’s summer time residence on Mount Desert Island has reached a settlement with the 2 cops who arrested him.
Eli Durand-McDonnell, 24, was arrested in July 2022 on a cost of disorderly conduct throughout protests outdoors Leo’s residence over Leo’s efforts to have the U.S. Supreme Courtroom overturn federal protections that made abortion authorized.
That misdemeanor cost later was dismissed by Hancock County District Legal professional Robert Granger, who mentioned that the case was a low precedence for his workplace and that prosecutors must “tread very fastidiously” when contemplating whether or not protected political speech crosses the road right into a breach of the peace.
Two months later, Durand-McDonnell sued the cops who arrested him in federal courtroom, alleging that they violated his rights to free speech and arrested him underneath false pretenses.
A settlement convention within the case was held Wednesday in federal courtroom in Bangor. Through the convention, attorneys representing Durand-McDonnell and cops Kevin Edgecomb and Nathan Formby indicated that they’d agreed to settle the case, in line with info posted in an internet database of federal courtroom instances.
The Justice of the Peace decide overseeing the convention, John C. Nivison, on Wednesday ordered the events to finish the settlement of the case and to file a stipulation of dismissal with the courtroom inside the subsequent 30 days.
Particulars concerning the preliminary settlement settlement weren’t obtainable Thursday. Durand-McDonnell’s legal professional, Matthew Morgan of Augusta, didn’t reply to an e-mail or voicemail searching for remark.
Kasia Park, the Portland legal professional representing the cops, verified there was a settlement settlement however declined to offer any particulars.
“The events reached a settlement,” she mentioned. “All events imagine it was of their finest pursuits to resolve this case with out protracted litigation.”
Previous to the felony cost being dismissed, Morgan argued that Leo had urged police to arrest Durand-McDonnell for yelling curse phrases at Leo earlier within the day, as Leo and his household walked down Most important Avenue within the village of Northeast Harbor.
Durand-McDonnell’s outburst was protected political speech however, even when it warranted a disorderly conduct cost, police will not be allowed to make such an arrest if the alternate in query is dedicated outdoors of their presence, Morgan argued. He additionally mentioned the ulterior motive of the arrest was not a lot concerning the insult however to impose bail situations requiring Durand-McDonnell to keep away from Leo and his summer time residence.
Leo, a summer time resident of Northeast Harbor within the city of Mount Desert, is co-chair of the conservative Federalist Society, which has sought to have anti-abortion conservative judges appointed to the Supreme Courtroom.
Protests outdoors Leo’s summer time residence intensified in July 2022, after the courtroom overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Courtroom resolution that had established a ladies’s proper to terminate a being pregnant.
Across the identical time the disorderly conduct cost in opposition to Durand-McDonnell was dismissed, Leo got here underneath hearth nationally for steering almost $100,000 in secret funds to Ginni Thomas, spouse of U.S. Supreme Courtroom Justice Clarence Thomas, for supposed consulting work, in line with The Washington Put up.
That very same month, Politico reported that Leo leveraged his work with The Federalist Society — a nonprofit whose tax standing prohibits it from political advocacy — to acquire a $1.6 billion reward for his “darkish cash community” that has helped to get conservative, anti-abortion justices appointed to the Supreme Courtroom.