Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rodriguez v. Maricopa County Comm. College (9th Cir. - May 20, 2010)

If you're, say, the Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit, and are very dubious about speech restrictions in the workplace in the name of preventing sexual or racial harassment, you couldn't make up a better case in which to articulate your vision than this one. And if you wanted to really dream the dream, you'd not only have Judge Ikuta on the panel, but you'd have a Supreme Court justice on your panel as well.

Wait. It's not a dream. It's reality.

How could it get any better? Well, I guess in a perfect world the case could totally set up a citation to one of your former law clerks. Saying something like: "We therefore doubt that a college professor’s expression on a matter of public concern, directed to the college community, could ever constitute unlawful harassment and justify the judicial intervention that plaintiffs seek. See Eugene Volokh, Comment, Freedom of Speech and Workplace Harassment, 39 UCLA L. Rev. 1791, 1849-55 (1992)."

But come on. That'd be too perfect. Could never happen.

POSTSCRIPT - Here'd be absolute Nirvana: If the cited law clerk also clerked for the Justice in question, as did the third member of the panel, who also clerked for the Chief Judge on the panel. But clearly we're talking about something in the realm of fantasy. (I'll not take credit for this realization. But I love it.)