An anti-abortion protester who won the right to display pictures of aborted fetuses at a busy intersection can collect lawyer’s fees from local officials, the Supreme Court ruled Monday.

The justices said that because a South Carolina anti-abortion activist had a free speech right to display photos of aborted fetuses even though they shocked some motorists, he could also claim his legal fees under Civil Rights Attorneys Fees Act of 1976 for vindicating his rights in court.

Although the ruling concerned only legal fees, it will likely strengthen the hand of abortion protesters who clash with police or city officials. If they go to court and prevail on any claim, they can force officials to pay their legal costs.

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