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Speechless by Bruce Barry

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FOURPublic Employee Speech

A MAN IN WILLIAMSON COUNTY, TENNESSEE, published a letter to the editor in a local newspaper giving his views on welfare policy. A man in Will County, Illinois, published a letter to the editor in a local newspaper giving his views on education policy. The man in Tennessee was fired from his job.1 The man in Illinois first lost his job, then went to court and fought successfully to get it back.2 The difference? The Tennessee letter writer on welfare policy worked as a computer consultant for a private firm. The Illinois letter writer worked as a high school teacher for the local public school system.

Placed side by side, these two situations point to concrete differences in employee free speech rights, differences ...

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