About this Case
Steven Lefemine and members of Columbia Christians for Life were engaged in a pro-life demonstration when police officers said they would be ticketed if they did not remove the posters of aborted babies. They complied, but later Mr. Lefemine filed a complaint that First Amendment rights of free exercise, free speech, and free assembly were violated; and requested attorney’s fees be paid.
Summary of NLF's Brief
Our petition asked the Supreme Court to reverse the Fourth Circuit’s decision refusing Mr. Lefemine’s request for attorney’s fees. We gave three reasons for granting this petition. First, the Fourth Circuit’s judgment thwarts Congress’s intent in a way that will impact untold numbers of civil rights litigants. Second, the Fourth Circuit’s judgment variously misunderstands and refuses to be bound by this Court’s long-standing jurisprudence. Third, the judgment created a circuit split on two issues: 1) the test to be applied to determine whether a plaintiff has prevailed and 2) the standard of review to be applied to this question. The Court granted the Petition and reversed the Fourth Circuit without requiring the usual “merits” briefing. See the link below to view this highly unusual victory.