Retaliatory Speech Must Involve Threats: 7th Circ.

Law360, San Diego (October 24, 2011, 5:36 PM EDT) -- Retaliatory speech must involve coercion, intimidation or threats alluding to punishment to be actionable under the Civil Rights Act, the Seventh Circuit held Monday in reversing a ruling for a Milwaukee County deputy sheriff who claimed he suffered retaliation for criticizing his boss.

Milwaukee County Deputy Sheriff David Hutchins claimed that after he called out his boss, David Clarke Jr., as not being a good fit for the county’s sheriff position during a radio show, Clarke called in and wrongfully disclosed Hutchins’ disciplinary history. But the...
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