Rule 13: If Working for the Government, Use the First Amendment
Whistleblower Protections Under the First Amendment
“The public interest in having free and unhindered debate on matters of public importance [is] the core value of the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment…the threat of dismissal from public employment is [a] potent means of inhibiting speech.”
Justice Thurgood Marshall, Pickering v. Board of Education
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” – The First Amendment
New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964) (establishing the actual malice standard, which has to be met before press reports on public officials can be considered libel; decided in the context of the civil rights movement)
Linn v. United Plant Guard Workers, 383 U.S. 53 (1966) (limiting the availability of state remedies for libel to those instances in which the complainant can show that the defamatory statements were circulated with malice and caused the complainant damage)
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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. All information submitted in the client intake form or in email from anyone seeking legal assistance is considered covered under the attorney client and work product privileges to the fullest extent of the law. While we treat your information as confidential, a lawyer-client relationship is created only by express written agreement signed by both you and Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto.