A federal judge has reinstated a man's request to subpoena former US Vice-President Dick Cheney as part of a lawsuit claiming the man was wrongfully arrested for comments he made about the Iraq war.

Judge Christine Arguello yesterday overturned a federal magistrate's order denying Steven Howards' motion to subpoena Cheney.

Howards says he was arrested in Colorado in June 2006 after approaching Cheney in a mall and telling him his Iraq policy was "disgusting".

Howards was arrested and charged with harassment, but the charge was later dropped. He says the arrest was a violation of his right to free speech.