City of San Diego v. Roe

PETITIONER:City of San Diego, California
LOCATION:Texas State Capitol

DOCKET NO.: 03-1669
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1986-2005)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

CITATION: 543 US 77 (2004)
DECIDED: Dec 06, 2004

Facts of the case

John Roe, a San Diego police officer, was fired for selling a video on eBay that showed him stripping off a police uniform and masturbating. He then sued the city in federal district court and alleged his firing violated his First Amendment right to freedom of speech. The district court ruled against the officer; the Ninth Circuit reversed.


San Diego fired John Roe from the city police force after he made and sold online a video showing him engaging in sexually explicit acts. Did this violate John Roe’s First Amendment right to free speech?