Listen to Episode 35 of Slate’s Amicus:
In 2006, a police officer in New Jersey was spotted carrying a campaign sign for the mayor’s opponent. He was promptly demoted, even though it turned out he did not actually support that opponent and was merely delivering the sign to his mother. Still, the police officer sued his employer, claiming that the demotion was a violation of his First Amendment rights.
Last week, that case was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. At issue in Heffernan v. City of Paterson is whether the Constitution can be invoked at all when there is no real act of speech or association that has transpired. Dahlia discusses the case with UCLA legal historian Stuart Banner, who filed the case on behalf of Jeffrey Heffernan. She is also joined by Tom Goldstein, who argued the case on behalf of the city of Paterson.
Transcripts of Amicus are available to Slate Plus members. Consider signing up today! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today here.
Amicus is sponsored by Casper, an online retailer of premium mattresses for a fraction of the price. Casper mattresses come with free delivery and returns within a 100-day period. Get $50 toward any mattress purchase by visiting Casper.com/amicus and using the promo code AMICUS.
Please let us know what you think of Amicus. Our email is email@example.com.
Podcast production by Tony Field.