It’s come to our attention recently that at least a handful of our local lawyers here in Athens read AthPo, and we’d like to send a shoutout to them. Please, ladies and gentlemen of the bar, for heaven’s sake, call the guy in this story, because it looks like he’s got something of a First Amendment case here.
If you’re too engrossed in AthPo to click the link, here’s the abridged version. Guy works for Gold Kist. Every year for the last four years, he’s celebrated Martin Luther King’s birthday by posting the full text of the “I Have a Dream” speech in the employee breakroom. Everything’s cool, until this year, when Gold Kist informs him he’s got to take it down.
I don’t know from law, but my co-editor does, and I’m sure he’ll have a thing or two to say about this when he gets back into town. I do, however, have it on good authority from the prettiest third-year law student I know that this at least appears to meet the requirements for protected political speech.
Now, we’ll leave it to the real lawyers to weigh in, but this seems pretty cut and dried to me. Political speech is protected, there’s no credible argument to made for incitement, and the fact that the company allowed him to do it in previous years goes a long way, in my opinion, towards negating any argument along the lines of the workplace not being a public forum.