The Atlantic

Can Police Retaliate Against Loudmouths?

The Supreme Court will rule on whether citizens can talk back to law enforcement without fear of consequences.
Source: Lucas Jackson / Reuters

Updated at 9:52 a.m. ET on November 30, 2018.

Arctic Man is Alaska’s answer to Nevada’s more famous Burning Man. The writer Matt White once described it as “a weeklong booze and fossil-fueled Sledneck Revival bookended around the world’s craziest ski race,” during which “something like 10,000 partiers and their snowmachines disgorge onto Camp Isabel’s 300-acre pad to drink, grill, fight, drink and, at least while the sun is out, blast their sleds through the ear-deep powder in the surrounding hills one last time before it all melts away.”

As one can imagine, Arctic Man revelers sometimes attract the attention of law enforcement. One such meeting led to a case called Nieves v. Bartlett that will be argued before the Supreme Court on Monday, and that may finally resolve the question of whether a citizen can ignore or even talk back to police officers without fear of consequences.

In theory, the First

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