A&A: Does a Member of a Public Body Have a First Amendment Claim if He or She is Punished for Speaking Out?
Q: I serve as a director on a public body–a Board of Directors. A majority of that Board recently voted to punish me because I have publicly expressed, as an individual citizen, views contrary to the majority. They said that once the Board has decided something, I should be silent if I disagreed. Was this unlawful, and do I have any recourse? A: It is not clear from your inquiry whether you as a Director are a public employee or an elected official. Nevertheless, we can provide you with some general information as to how the First Amendment may apply