Perry v. Sindermann
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A government employee does not need a contractual or tenure right to his or her job in order for that employment to be protected from retaliation under the First Amendment.
What Happened in Court
A state junior college elected not to renew a professor’s contract after the professor spoke out against the school on controversial issues. The Supreme Court held that even though the professor did not necessarily have a right to have his contract renewed, nor did he have any tenure or other concrete right to continue working for the college, he was nevertheless entitled to procedural due process regarding the grounds for his termination. Namely, he was entitled to a hearing on whether the school’s termination was retaliation for his exercise of his first amendment rights.