Resolving a circuit split, the Supreme Court declared in Garcetti v. Ceballos that the First Amendment does not protect speech made pursuant to a public employee's work duties, regardless of whether the speech relates to a matter of public concern or the government's restrictions are justifiable. This article argues that a bright line rule eliminating First Amendment protection for job-duty speech is inconsistent with the theories underlying free speech protection. Further, this article explores practical drawbacks to Garcetti's bright-line rule, including inconsistent judicial determination of the scope of job duties, a disincentive to report government abuse through one's chain-of-command, and a lack of protection for those who are best informed about the subject of their speech and who are under professional or legal obligations to speak.
Sarah F. Suma,
Uncertainty and Loss in the Free Speech Rights of Public Employees under Garcetti v. Ceballos,
Chi.-Kent L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/cklawreview/vol83/iss1/16