Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2083102
 


 



Take One Step Forward: Federal Courts Continue to Find that Volunteers are Shielded from Retaliation Based on Protected Speech Under the First Amendment


David A. Grenardo


St. Mary's University School of Law

Samuel D. Davis


King & Spalding

Thomas M. Gutting


King & Spalding

September 12, 2011

First Amendment Law Review, Vol. 10, No. 1, 2011

Abstract:     
As an issue of first impression in the Fifth Circuit's jurisdiction, a United States district court in Texas considered whether it is impossible to state a claim for speech retaliation which involves the loss of a plaintiff's volunteer ministry rights and credentials. The court, in line with decisions from other federal courts and analogous Supreme Court cases, determined that being a volunteer is the type of governmental benefit or privilege the deprivation of which triggers First Amendment scrutiny, and it held that the volunteer chaplain stated a valid claim for retaliation. This article summarizes the law concerning retaliation against volunteers based on the exercise of their First Amendment rights, as well as analogous Supreme Court law. The article concludes that other federal courts that decide the issue, including the United States Supreme Court, will likely, and should, continue the pattern and decide that volunteers are protected from retaliation based on their exercise of First Amendment rights.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 19

Keywords: speech retaliation, volunteers, First Amendment rights

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Date posted: June 27, 2012 ; Last revised: December 12, 2012

Suggested Citation

Grenardo, David A. and Davis, Samuel D. and Gutting, Thomas M., Take One Step Forward: Federal Courts Continue to Find that Volunteers are Shielded from Retaliation Based on Protected Speech Under the First Amendment (September 12, 2011). First Amendment Law Review, Vol. 10, No. 1, 2011. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2083102

Contact Information

David A. Grenardo (Contact Author)
St. Mary's University School of Law ( email )
1 Camino Santa Maria
San Antonio, TX 78228
United States
Samuel D. Davis
King & Spalding
United States
Thomas M. Gutting
King & Spalding
United States
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