Garcetti v. Ceballos
MGRABER at gvpt.umd.edu
Thu Jun 1 09:43:48 PDT 2006
My sense is that this is the crucial paragraph in the Caballos opinion.
"The controlling factor in Ceballos' case is that his expressions were
made pursuant to his duties as a calendar [deputy. See Brief for
Respondent 4 ("Ceballos does not dispute that he prepared the memorandum
'pursuant to his duties as a prosecutor'"). That consideration -- the
fact that Ceballos spoke as a prosecutor fulfilling a responsibility to
advise his supervisor about how best to proceed with a pending case --
distinguishes Ceballos' case from those in which the First Amendment
provides protection against discipline. We hold that when public
employees make statements pursuant to their official duties, the
employees are not speaking as citizens for First Amendment purposes, and
the Constitution does not insulate their communications from employer
[Back to me] Note, contrary to Professor Rosenthal, there is no issue
concerning whether Ceballos simply expressed his opinion, honestly and
civilly. The rule of Ceballos is that a government employee who
expresses an opinion in the line of duty may be fired no matter how
reasonable and civilly presented the opinion. I confess to thinking
this a first amendment issue, the rule being that when a government
official asks for an opinion, reasonable reasons cannot be sanctioned.
Should not matter whether the context is educational or not. If Mr.
Ceballos's supervisor wanted a particular position supported, he should
have told Ceballos to support that position.
Mark A. Graber
>>> "Scarberry, Mark" <Mark.Scarberry at pepperdine.edu> 06/01/06 12:28 PM
I think Mark Graber's post is more of an argument for a recognition of
property interest in a government job and a corresponding right not to
that job absent due process of law than it is an argument for
the employee's first amendment rights.
Mark S. Scarberry
Pepperdine University School of Law
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