Monday, March 31, 2008
Ross Runkel summarizes the Fifth Circuit case (the Fifth Circuit!) of Charles v. Grief (5th Cir 03/26/2008):
Charles sued his superior, asserting a 1st Amendment retaliation (free speech) claim under 42 USC Section 1983. The trial court declined to dismiss on grounds of qualified immunity. The 5th Circuit affirmed, concluding that the speech at issue was entitled to 1st Amendment protection. The court rejected the argument that Charles' speech was rendered unprotected under Garcetti v. Ceballos, 126 S.Ct. 1951 (2006). More specifically, the court rejected the proposition that "any employee's speech is not protected merely because it concerns facts that he happened to learn while at work...."
A limitation on the scope of Garcetti. Wonders never cease. What will happen next? Coke will sell its secret formula to Pepsi?