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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Free Speech Rights Of Off-Duty Government Employees


Until recently, Andrew Shirvell was an assistant attorney general 
in Michigan. This past fall, he created a blog attacking the openly gay president of the University of Michigan student body as a "racist" and "liar" who was promoting "a radical homosexual agenda."' Initially, Michigan Attorney General Michael CoxShirvell's boss-condemned Shirvell's anti-homosexual rantings but resisted calls for Shirvell's firing, citing Shirvell's First Amendment right to say what he wants while he is off duty.2 In a statement, General Cox remarked: "Mr. Shirvell's personal opinions are his and his alone and do not reflect the views of the Michigan Department of Attorney General. But his immaturity and lack of judgment outside the office are clear."' General Cox later fired Shirvell, citing an investigation that had revealed that Shirvell had "repeatedly violated office policies, engaged in borderline stalking behavior and inappropriately.


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