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Employment – public employment — First Amendment — injunctions

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//August 29, 2012//

Employment – public employment — First Amendment — injunctions

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//August 29, 2012//

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United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit

Civil

Employment – public employment — First Amendment — injunctions

Where an employee’s fears of future retaliation for exercising her First Amendment rights are based only on conjecture, she is not entitled to an injunction against such retaliation.

“Our conclusion that Capeheart has not established a real prospect of retaliation by the official-capacity defendants may seem like an ungenerous view of the record. But most of the actions that Capeheart uses to support her position have little to do with the president or provost or anyone ‘in concert’ with them. Students did things she did not like. Terrell is a major player in her story, but he retired four years ago. It would be wrong, we think, to stretch our jurisdiction based on a guess that Capeheart will improperly be denied an award as retaliation for her speech, as she believes she once was. And we will not speculate about whether a position she wants will become available, that she will be entitled to the position, after an election perhaps, and that the president or provost or someone acting on their orders will deny it to her because of her speech. See Bauer, 620 F.3d at 709. If Capeheart’s guess is right and she is targeted for her speech, she can again seek a federal forum for her claims.”

Affirmed in part, and Vacated in part.

11-1473 Capeheart v. Terrell

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Manning, J., Tinder, J.

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