Do Professors Have the Same Speech Rights as Police Officers?

By January 4, 2011

The First Amendment Center reports on a federal district court opinion in Michigan about the right of police officers to speak out on matters of public importance even when those issues are part of their official duties, so long as they are speaking as police union officials rather than in their official role as police officers. Could this ruling be applied to professors as well? Such an interpretation would do much to bolster faculty speech rights given the confusion that lingers from the Supreme Court’s 2006 decision in Garcetti v. Ceballos.