Appeals Court Expands Protections for Academic Speech

By Nisenson, Aaron | Academe, November/December 2013 | Go to article overview

Appeals Court Expands Protections for Academic Speech


Nisenson, Aaron, Academe


The Ninth Circuit Court of Ap- peals recently issued an important decision that vigorously affirms First Amendment protections for academic speech by faculty members. Demers v. Austin arose when Washington State Univer- sity disciplined professor David Demers after he distributed a pamphlet that made proposals to change the direction and focus of the Murrow School of Communi- cations. Demers sued the univer- sity, alleging that the university's actions violated his First Amend- ment rights. The trial court applied the Supreme Court's analysis in the 2006 Garcetti v. Ceballos case, under which speech made pursu- ant to a public employee's official duties is not protected by the First Amendment. The trial court ruled in favor of the university, finding that in preparing and distributing the pamphlet Demers was act- ing pursuant to his official duties and that accordingly, under the Garcetti analysis, his speech was not protected.

When Demers appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the AAUP joined with the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression to file an amicus brief supporting him. The brief argued that academic speech was governed not by the Garcetti analysis but instead by the balance test established in the 1968 case Pickering v. Board of Education. In this test, courts first determine whether a profes- sor is speaking on a matter of public concern and then whether the professor's speech outweighs the state's interest in an efficient academic workplace. The cir- cuit court agreed with the brief's argument.

In its ruling, the circuit court emphasized that "the Supreme Court has repeatedly stressed the importance of protecting aca- demic freedom under the First Amendment," quoting a 2003 ruling in which the Supreme Court explained, "We have long recognized that, given the impor- tant purpose of public education and the expansive freedoms of speech and thought associated with the university environment, universities occupy a special niche in our constitutional tradition. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Appeals Court Expands Protections for Academic Speech
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.