On March 15, 2024, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a long-awaited decision in Lindke v. Freed an important case concerning state action, the First Amendment, government officials, and social media.  The decision provides clarity on how First Amendment free speech standards apply to government officials in curating public comments on their social media pages.

In

Last week, on October 31, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court heard argument in two important cases concerning the First Amendment and government agencies.  Both cases present the question of when and how First Amendment free speech standards apply to government officials in curating public comments on their social media pages.  

The cases are O’Connor-Ratcliff

Social media sites have become the new “public square” where individuals share opinions and information about all types of political and societal events.  Public sector employees, as much as anyone else, use social media to post viewpoints and to participate in public debate.  Problems arise, however, when a public employee posts harsh, derogatory, defamatory, or

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled in Garnier v. O’Connor-Ratcliffe that public officials violated their constituents’ First Amendment rights by blocking them from the public officials’ social media accounts that were used for official duties.

School District Trustees Block Two Parents on Social Media

In Garnier, Michelle O’Connor-Ratcliff and T.J. Zane,

This year saw perhaps the largest public protests in American history, one of the most contentious election years, vast public use of social media to achieve political and social goals, and harsh debate on whether government mandates designed to combat the pandemic infringe constitutional rights, including the right to free expression.  Free speech challenges rose

US Supreme CourtAn unprecedented number of protests – at educational institutions and in city streets – occurred nationwide last year, and protests continue to serve as focal points for public attention and debate going into 2016.  The legal realm concerning free speech is in a similar state of turbulence for public employers and for educators.

Here are