[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] Friday scheduled new oral arguments in a whistleblower free speech case where the Court initially deadlocked 4-4. In Garcetti v. Ceballos [Duke Law backgrounder], a Los Angeles county prosecutor claimed he was demoted for testifying that a deputy sheriff lied in a search warrant affidavit. During the first round of oral arguments [JURIST report] in October, the Bush administration argued that First Amendment protection should not be extended to cover speech made in the course of governmental employment on an issue of public concern. Historically, constitutional protection has only been afforded to speech made as a private citizen. The ABA has merit briefs filed in the proceeding.
It is unclear whether this is the only case first heard before the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and the confirmation of Justice Samuel Alito that will be reargued. AP has more. The Supreme Court has posted its full Friday Order List [text].