There is a troubling free speech case in Virginia where a sheriff’s deputy, Daniel Ray Carter Jr., and five other employees were fired for “liking” his boss’ opponent on Facebook. We have been following the growing trend of public employees from teachers to police officers and others being fired for communications or associations in their private lives. In this case, U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson rejected the claim that friending someone is an act of free speech — a view that would by extension move a wide range of speech outside the protection of the first amendment. The decision is found in Bland v. Johnson, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57530 (E.D. Va. 2012).

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