Six years ago, Kansas resident Mary Ann Sause was listening to Westwood One’s syndicated host Michael Savage when police showed up to field a complaint that her radio was too loud. She eventually opened the door and began to pray when, she says, police told her she might be taken to jail. One of the officers ordered her to stop praying. She felt her rights were being violated and took her case all the way to the Supreme Court…and won.
After the incident, Sause tried to get an apology from the police. They refused. She then decided to pursue legal action, claiming her constitutional rights were violated. As The Hutchinson News reports, one judge had read the complaint Sause drafted as claiming the police violated her First Amendment rights when they ordered her to stop praying and violated her Fourth Amendment rights by refusing to let her enter her bedroom when they were in her apartment. But the judge threw out her complaint, finding the officers were shielded from liability under the doctrine of qualified immunity. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that dismissal, but Sause kept fighting, and on Thursday the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in her favor.
The Supreme Court filed a brief unsigned opinion finding that a lower court should not have dismissed Sause’s civil rights complaint against the officers. According to the paper, the Supreme Court found Sause’s First and Fourth amendment claims were “inextricable” and sent the case back for further consideration.
Sause told the newspaper she’s a big supporter of law enforcement but the police came into her house and it was a nightmare. “I kept praying and I was like, ‘Lord, I don’t know what to do,’ but I had to stand up for God and for myself and for people in the country. So I filed a pro se (complaint) in district court here and it was just a miracle how it all happened.”