25 Hastings Const. L.Q. 529 (1997-1998)
Permissible Content Discrimination under the First Amendment: The Strange case of the Public Employee

handle is hein.journals/hascq25 and id is 589 raw text is: Permissible Content Discrimination Under
the First Amendment: The Strange
Case of the Public Employee
By LAWRENCE RosENTHAL*
Table of Contents
I.  Introduction  ............................................  530
II.  The  D octrine  ...........................................  532
A. Pickering and Its Progeny .......................... 532
B. Connick's Public Concern Test ..................... 534
III.  The  Problem   ............................................  539
A. The Public Concern Test and the Problem of
Content Discrimination ............................. 540
B. The Troubling Constitutional Status of Workplace
Grievances ..........................................   544
1. The Public Concern Test and Managerial
Prerogatives  ....................................  544
2. The Public Concern Test and the Burdens of
Litigation  .......................................  546
C. The Administrability of the Public Concern Test ... 547
D. The Manipulability of the Public Concern Test ..... 555
E. The Problem of Overbreadth ....................... 557
IV .  A  Solution  ..............................................  567
A. Managerial Prerogatives Over the Content of
Employee Speech ................................... 567
1. The Scope of Managerial Authority Over
Employee Speech ............................... 568
2. The Necessity for Judicial Deference to
Managerial Prerogatives Over Employee
Speech  ..........................................  571
* Deputy Corporation Counsel for Appeals and Constitutional Issues, City of Chi-
cago Department of Law. My deepest thanks to Benna Ruth Solomon, David Strauss and
Dean Polales for their enormously helpful comments and suggestions. The views ex-
pressed here are my own and not those of the City of Chicago's Department of Law. I
have represented the City of Chicago and its officials in litigation involving the issues dis-
cussed in this article.

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