So holds Bland v. Roberts (E.D. Va. Apr. 24, 2012). Plaintiffs were fired from the Hampton, Virginia Sheriff’s Office, and they claim that this was because they backed the Sheriff’s opponent in an election, Jim Adams. In particular, two of the plaintiffs, Carter and McCoy, claim that they were fired for “liking” Adams’ page on Facebook.
Firing a government employee based on his speech on matters of public concern is generally unconstitutional. There are exceptions, for instance for speech by a high-level employee whose political affiliation is relevant to the job (such as the Sheriff’s top lieutenant), for speech that’s part of one’s job duties, or for speech that sufficiently disrupts the functioning of the office. But while the judge suggested that some of these exceptions might apply, he did not primarily rely on those exceptions.
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This blog is devoted to evaluating vulnerable Democratic candidates, political news, law and current affairs. Author is a Political consultant specializing in opposition research for conservative candidates, attorneys and PACS at the local, state, and federal level. “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” ― Patrick Henry
Monday, April 30, 2012
Is a Facebook “Like” Not “Substantive” Enough to “Warrant Constitutional Protection”?
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