In Gonzalez v. Trevino, Petitioner Sylvia Gonzalez is a 72 year-old city councilwoman from Castle Hills, Texas. Ms. Gonzalez believed that the city’s mayor and city manager were ignoring her constituents and her own frustrations with the city. The mayor and other allies of the city manager in turn planned to unseat the councilwoman. The mayor and police chief next filed charges with a rarely-used law to have the councilwoman arrested, booked, and put in jail. Ms. Gonzalez maintains that she did nothing wrong.

After a day in jail, local media picked up the story and the local prosecutor dropped the charges. Petitioner is represented by the Institute for Justice and she filed a 2020 lawsuit against the city officials. The city filed a motion to dismiss claiming qualified immunity, which the district court denied. An appeal followed to the Fifth Circuit, which reversed the district court over a dissent from Judge Oldham. The Supreme Court granted certiorari this past fall.

On March 20, 2024, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Gonzalez v. Trevino. This was a discussion with Anya Bidwell, Attorney at the Institute for Justice, as she broke down the case and its developments after oral argument.

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