99 Nw. U. L. Rev. 1007 (2004-2005)
Reconceptualizing Public Employee Speech

handle is hein.journals/illlr99 and id is 1017 raw text is: Copyright 2005 by Northwestern University, School of Law                    Printed in U.S.A.
Northwestern University Law Review                                           Vol. 99, No. 3
Articles
RECONCEPTUALIZING PUBLIC EMPLOYEE SPEECH
Randy J Kozer
I.   INTRO DUCTION  ...................................................................................................  1007
II. THE CONTOURS AND SHORTFALLS OF DISRUPTION AND PUBLIC CONCERN. 1010
A .  The  State  of   the  Law   ..................................................................................  10 10
B.   The Problems with Modern Public Employee Speech Law ....................... 1018
III. THEORIZING THE HOLMESIAN MODEL OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEE SPEECH ................. 1028
A. Employee Free Speech Rights, Decoupling Governmental Functions, and the
M arket for  Employm ent .............................................................................  1028
B.   The Holmesian Model and a Richer Ideal of Employer Interests .............. 1034
IV.  COSTS, THREATS, AND  SAFEGUARDS .................................................................. 1035
A .  C osts  and  Threats ......................................................................................  1035
B .  Safeg uards  ................................................................................................  1038
V. ASSESSING THE HOLMESIAN MODEL AND AN ALTERNATIVE PROPOSAL FOR REFORM
..........................................................................................................................  10 4 1
A.   Full-Scale Adoption of the Holmesian Model ........................................... 1041
B.   The  Internal/External M odel ..................................................................... 1044
V I.  C ON C LU SIO N  ......................................................................................................  105 1
I.   INTRODUCTION
If government employees didn't have any free speech rights, America
might well be a much quieter place. But tying public employers' hands by
denying them the ability to restrict employee speech could take a massive
toll on governmental efficiency-a toll that we would all end up paying
with our tax dollars. Striking the proper balance between protecting free
speech and promoting social order is a tricky enough proposition when the
government is acting in its familiar role as sovereign. When we move into
the realm of public employee speech, striking the balance gets even
Law clerk to Judge Alex Kozinski, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (2004-2005). J.D., Harvard
Law School. For helpful comments and discussions, thanks to Barry Friedman, Aaron Katz, Anton Met-
litsky, Chris Pistilli, David Rosenberg, Fred Schauer, Matt Stephenson, Jay Tidmarsh, Eugene Volokh,
and seminar participants at Harvard Law School. For financial support, thanks to the John M. Olin
Foundation for Law, Economics, and Business at Harvard Law School. Thanks finally to the editors of
the Northwestern University Law Review, whose suggestions and editing were terrific.

1007

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