Garcetti v. Ceballos

Garcetti and Salaita: Revisiting Academic Freedom

This article revisits the legal concept of academic freedom in the wake of Professor Steven Salaita’s dehiring and the 2006 US Supreme Court decision in Garcetti v. Ceballos. It examines four key post-Garcetti decisions, each of which illustrates a potential solution to courts facing issues of academic freedom, and each of which has different implications for Professor Salaita’s dehiring. The article also proposes a new legal concept of academic freedom that would empower rather than restrict professors.

Negotiating Academic Freedom: A Cautionary Tale

In recent years, there has been a growing concern among academics that traditional protections of academic freedom have been eroded by increasingly intrusive and somewhat ill-informed court decisions. The most recent and prime example of this is the Garcetti v. Ceballos decision by the US Supreme Court and, more alarmingly, its progeny in other courts. Those decisions, and their implications, are the subject of a recently released AAUP special report, Protecting an Independent Faculty Voice: Academic Freedom after Garcetti v. Ceballos. In brief, the Garcetti decision said that in the course of carrying out one’s public employment responsibilities, an employee did not have First Amendment protections of free speech outside the classroom.

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