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8 Loy. J. Pub. Int. L. 73 (2006-2007)
Garcetti v. Ceballos: The Dual Threshold Requirement Challenging Public Employee Free Speech

handle is hein.journals/loyjpubil8 and id is 77 raw text is: GARCETTI V. CEBALLOS: THE DUAL THRESHOLD
Kathryn B. Cooper
The First Amendment is often inconvenient. But that is beside the
point. Inconvenience does not absolve the government of its obligation to
tolerate speech.
Justice Anthony Kennedy
The First Amendment states that Congress shall make no law...
abridging the freedom  of speech, or of the press.. .'    The First
Amendment, while commanding, does not exist in a vacuum and routinely
finds itself at odds with other fundamental rights and elementary needs.
One such conflict arises when looking at the First Amendment rights of the
public employee versus the government's need, not as a Sovereign but as an
employer, to function efficiently and effectively. Achieving harmony
between these two ideals has been particularly difficult. Theorists have
long questioned where the line in the sand should be drawn. On the one
hand, some believe the right to First Amendment freedom is an intrinsic
right wholly unrelated to any external need for system function and
•  2
efficiency. On the other hand, some believe public employees have no
right to challenge the conditions placed on the terms of their employment
regardless of any constitutional concerns. In 1892, while serving on the
Massachusetts Supreme Court, Justice Holmes, a proponent of the latter of
these two theories, held that a police officer may have a constitutional
right to talk politics, but he has no constitutional right to be a policeman.4
1. U.S. CONST. amend. I.
2. Risa L. Lieberwitz, Freedom of Speech in Public Sector Employment; The
Deconstitutionalization of the Public Sector Workplace, 19 U.C. DAVIS L. REV. 597, 603 (1986)
(discussing the issue of first amendment speech in the public workplace).
3. Connick v. Myers, 461 U.S. 138, 143 (1983).
4. McAullife v. Mayor of New Bedford, 29 N.E. 517, 517 (Mass. 1892) (police officer was
removed from office for violating a police regulation prohibiting the solicitation of money for any

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