Tag Archives: Pickering Balancing Test

Court Rules FDNY First Amendment Suit Can Proceed

A US District Court judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit brought by an FDNY deputy assistant chief who was denied a promotion for refusing to renounce letters to the editor he wrote decades ago relative to merit based testing. Even more interestingly, Judge Brian M. Cogan suggested that the proper First Amendment analysis for the case is not the traditional Pickering Balancing Test, but rather one that looks at the ability of government to compel the speech of public employees.

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Today’s Burning Question: Should The Loser Pay?

Today’s Burning Question: If someone files suit against a fire department and loses, shouldn’t they have to pay the city’s legal bills? Answer: That is not how our legal system works. Let’s use a recent case out of Sebring, Florida to better understand the issues.

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Trial Court Renders Split Decision to Kelvin Cochran And Atlanta

The trial judge in the case of former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran handed down her long-awaited ruling this week, and it was a split decision. Chief Cochran was terminated in 2014 after he published a religious-themed book in conjunction with his ministry that many considered to be offensive to the LGBT community.

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Court Strikes Down Police Department Social Media Policy In Ho-Hum Non-Precedent Setting But Widely Discussed Decision

Today’s burning question: I just saw that the 4th Circuit struck down a police department’s social media policy based on the First Amendment. I live in Nevada, which is part of the 9th Circuit. Will that ruling be binding here? Answer: Boy, there sure is a lot of interest in that 4th Circuit case. I have received over 25 emails and social media contacts TODAY ALONE.

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Houston Firefighter’s Post Sparks Complaints

A Houston firefighter has been placed on administrative duties as the department investigates offensive anti-Islamic posts on his personal Facebook page. The unidentified firefighter allegedly made the posts last month drawing the attention of KTRK TV Channel 13, who in turn brought them to the attention of the fire department.

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Howard County Facebook and the First Amendment

Last month we covered a lawsuit filed on behalf of Howard County Battalion Chief Kevin Buker who was terminated over a series of Facebook posts on gun control last January. Yesterday, we reviewed a second suit by Mark Grutzmacher, a ...

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Is Clicking Like Really Saying Anything?

I received a very timely and thought provoking question for today’s burning question: Is clicking “Like” to a Facebook post making a public statement sufficient to get someone in trouble? I should probably start by asking – who do I ...

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