Issue: IN THE SIXTH CIRCUIT, WHETHER A PLAINTIFF’S SPEECH MAY BE A CONSTITUTIONAL BASIS FOR TERMINATION FROM A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYERtc l2 "IV. PLAINTIFF LACY=S TERMINATION VIOLATED HIS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS.
Area of Law:
Discharge of a public employee; Plaintiff's speech
511 U.S. 661; 461 U.S. 138; 862 F.2d 609; 518 U.S. 668
If a plaintiff’s speech was a substantial or motivating factor in his termination, that would form the basis of a constitutional violation. SeeTA s "Board of County Commr’s v. Umbehr, 518 U.S. 668, 675" c 1 l "Board of County Commr=s v. Umbehr, 518 U.S. 668 (1996)"Board of County Commr’s v. Umbehr, 518 U.S. 668, 675-76(1996). There may be evidence that indicates the same decision to terminate a plaintiff would have been made even in the absence of his protected speech. SeeTA s "Board of County Commr’s v. Umbehr, 518 U.S. 668, 675" c 1 id. at 675-76.
Motion for Summary Judgment, correctly state the legal principles to be applied in determining whether the discharge of a public employee violates the First Amendment. The first step of the test requires a determination of whether the subject matter of the speech is one that could be fairly characterized as a matter of public concern. TA s "Matulin v. Village of Lodi, 862 F.2d 609, 612 (6th" c 1 l "Matulin v. Village of Lodi, 862 F.2d 609 (6th Cir. 1988)"Matulin v. Village of Lodi, 862 F.2d 609, 612 (6th Cir. 1988). This issue must be determined by examining the “content, form, and context” of the statement. Id. at 612 (citing TA s "Connick v. Myers, 461 U.S. 138, 147-48 (1983)" c 1 l "Connick v. Myers,