New Ways To Separate Employee Speech From Citizen Speech

Law360, New York (June 19, 2014, 8:37 PM EDT) -- With Lane v. Franks, the U.S. Supreme Court has stepped back slightly from the absolutism of an earlier decision that limited the free-speech rights of public employees — and, in the process, has sketched a framework that may allow similar results in tougher cases to come.

In some ways, the court’s holding Thursday — that the First Amendment can protect government workers from punishment for testifying truthfully under oath — was unremarkable, even obvious. But while the 9-0 opinion by Justice Sonia Sotomayor portrayed itself as an application of Garcetti v. Ceballos, which held that government employees have no constitutional protection...

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