Case Brought by Prof. Leon Friedman Discussed in New York Law Journal

Leon Friedman, Joseph Kushner Distinguished Professor of Civil Liberties Law

Supreme Court Rejects Public Employee Petition Clause Retailiation Claim
New York Law Journal
By: Martin A. Schwartz
August 17, 2011


Guarnieri won in the district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed. Third Circuit precedent, established in a case brought by Professor Leon Friedman on behalf of a Rutgers University professor, established that a public employee’s lawsuit or other formal lawsuit is protected by the Petition Clause even it is a matter of private concern. The Third Circuit, however, stood alone in this view. All of the other circuits that considered the issue reached the opposite result, holding that a government employee’s grievance is protected by the Petition Clause only if it is a matter of public concern. The Supreme Court in Guarnieri granted certiorari to resolve the conflict in the circuits.

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