FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 19, 2014
For More Information, contact:
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Claire Haynes (334) 242-7351
Alabama Attorney General
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AG STRANGE PRAISES U.S. SUPREME COURT’S DECISION IN LANE V. FRANKS
(MONTGOMERY) – The United States Supreme Court today issued a decision in
Lane v. Franks which involved a former public employee who was allegedly fired for
testifying in a public corruption trial.
Attorney General Strange personally orally argued this case before the Supreme
Court. Attorney General Strange argued that the First Amendment protects public
employees who act as whistleblowers and testify to expose public corruption, even if
the employees learn that information as a result of their public employment. The
Supreme Court agreed, concluding that the employee’s speech in this case was entitled
to First Amendment protection.
Attorney General Strange also argued that the supervisor who fired the
employee should not be personally liable for damages, because existing Eleventh
Circuit law had left the employee’s speech unprotected. The Supreme Court also
agreed with that position, protecting the employer from personal liability because the
law was unclear when the employer fired the employee.
“It was an honor and privilege for me to argue before the United States Supreme
Court, and I am pleased that the Court agreed with the position we presented,” said
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange. “The Court’s decision properly recognizes
that a public employee has the right to testify in a public corruption case but that the
supervisor who fired this particular employee should not be personally liable for
The National Association of Attorneys General also honored the Office of
Attorney General Strange with its Best Brief Award for the brief in this case.
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