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Hodgson v. Davignon

Close Date: 12/08/2008
Status: closed
Citation: 524 F.3d 91
Docket: 08-427

Description:

First Amendment: Employee Speech

Five correctional officers were suspended from their jobs after discussing union-related business while on duty. The officers brought a section 1983 suit bringing a free speech retaliation claim against the sheriff. The jury found favor of the officers, and the First Circuit affirmed. The questions presented are:

  1. Must deference be given to prison administrators when reviewing an employee disciplinary decision for purposes of the test set forth in Pickering v. Board of Education, 391 U.S. 563?
  2. When applying the test set forth in Pickering v. Board of Education, must the potential disruption that could result from the employee's behavior be expressly considered?

Brian Wolfman of Public Citizen assisted the respondent at the cert stage, and the Surpeme Court denied cert.