Employee Speech & Management Rights: A Counterintuitive Reading of Garcetti v. Ceballos

41 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2009 Last revised: 26 Feb 2009

Elizabeth Dale

Levin College of Law

Date Written: August 1, 2008

Abstract

In the years since the decision came down, courts and commentators generally have agreed that the Supreme Court's decision in Garcetti v. Ceballos sharply limited the First Amendment rights of public employees. In this Article, I argue that this widely shared interpretation overstates the case. The Court in Garcetti did not dramatically change the way it analyzed public employees' First Amendment rights. Instead, it restated the principles on which those claims rest, emphasizing management rights and the unconstitutional conditions doctrine. By making those two theories the centerpiece of the decision, the Court in Garcetti defined public employee speech rights in a way that may ultimately strengthen the hand of public employees.

Keywords: First Amendment, public employee rights, unconstitutional conditions doctrine, public sector employment

Suggested Citation

Dale, Elizabeth, Employee Speech & Management Rights: A Counterintuitive Reading of Garcetti v. Ceballos (August 1, 2008). Berkley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, Vol. 29, No. 175, 2008; University of Florida Levin College of Law Research Paper No. 2009-06. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1332153

Elizabeth Dale (Contact Author)

Levin College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 117625
Gainesville, FL 32611-7625
United States

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