Media for Garcetti v. Ceballos
- Opinion Announcement - May 30, 2006
- Oral Reargument - March 21, 2006
- Oral Argument - October 12, 2005
Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - October 12, 2005 in Garcetti v. Ceballos
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - May 30, 2006 in Garcetti v. Ceballos
Anthony M. Kennedy:
Cabellos’ proposed contrarily rule adopted by the Court of Appeals would commit state and federal courts to a new permanent and intrusive role, mandating judicial oversight of communications between and among Government employees and their superiors in the course of official business, and in our view that would be a dramatic alteration of rules both of federalism and separation of powers.
This displacement of managerial discretion by judicial supervision finds no support in the precedents.
Exposing governmental inefficiency and misconduct is a matter of considerable significance.
As this Court noted in Connick v. Myers, public employers should as a matter of good judgment be receptive to constructive criticism offered by their employees.
The dictates of sound judgment are reinforced by the powerful network of legislative enactment, such as whistleblower-protection laws and labor codes, available to those who seek to expose wrongdoing.
Cases involving governmental attorneys in addition implicate safeguards in the form of, for example, Professional Rules of Conduct and Constitutional obligations apart from the First Amendment.
We reject, however, the notion that the First Amendment protects from discipline the expressions made by employees pursuant to their professional duties.
The judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed, and the case is remanded for proceedings consistent with this opinion.
Justice Stevens has filed a dissenting opinion; Justice Souter has filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justices Stevens and Ginsburg join; and Justice Breyer has filed a dissenting opinion.