Cause In Fact Problems in the Public Employee Speech Cases

In this Essay, Professor R. George Wright considers Lett v. City of Chicago, a recent Seventh Circuit opinion penned by Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Lett focuses on a quintessential question of cause in fact in the realm of public employee speech cases. This Essay further refines that question of cause in fact, extending beyond the factual speaker-role investigation to consider normative justice and fairness-oriented judgments because of the difficulty in discerning between public employee and private citizen speech. Ultimately, Wright advocates for greater consideration of deeply rooted norms when assessing the gatekeeping cause in fact questions in public employee speech cases. 

Professor R. George Wright is a Lawrence A. Jegen Professor of Law at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

Recommended citation: R. George Wright, Cause In Fact Problems in the Public Employee Speech Cases, 52 Loy. U. Chi. L.J. Online 1 (2020).