Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Freedom of speech

University of Michigan Law School

2008

Torts

Articles 1 - 1 of 1

Full-Text Articles in Law

Limiting A Constitutional Tort Without Probably Cause: First Amendment Retaliatory Arrest After Hartman, Colin P. Watson Jan 2008

Limiting A Constitutional Tort Without Probably Cause: First Amendment Retaliatory Arrest After Hartman, Colin P. Watson

Michigan Law Review

Federal law provides a cause of action for individuals who are the target of adverse state action taken in retaliation for their exercise of First Amendment rights. Because these constitutional torts are "easy to allege and hard to disprove," they raise difficult questions concerning the proper balance between allowing meaningful access to the courts and protecting government agents from frivolous and vexatious litigation. In its recent decision in Hartman v. Moore, the U.S. Supreme Court tipped the scales in favor of the state in one subset of First Amendment retaliation actions by holding that plaintiffs in actions for retaliatory …