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Waters v. Churchill - Significance, A Reasonable Belief, She Said She Said, Impact, Whistleblower Protection Act Of 1989

court petitioners decision washington

Petitioners

Cynthia Waters, Kathleen Davis

Respondent

Cheryl Churchill

Petitioners' Claim

That a public hospital employee's speech is not protected by the First Amendment when it disrupts the operational effectiveness and efficiency of the facility.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioners

Lawrence A. Marison

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

John J. Bisbee

Justices for the Court

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony M. Kennedy, Sandra Day O'Connor (writing for the Court), William H. Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, David H. Souter, Clarence Thomas

Justices Dissenting

Harry A. Blackmun, John Paul Stevens

Place

Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

31 May 1994

Decision

Upheld the hospital's claim and overturned a lower court's decision prohibiting the hospital from firing an employee based on what was thought to have been said.

Related Cases

  • New York Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964).
  • Pickering v. Board of Education, 391 U.S. 563 (1968).
  • Connick v. Myers, 461 U.S. 138 (1983).
  • United States v. National Treasury Employees Union, 513 U.S. 454 (1995).

Sources

Congress and the Nation. Vol. IX: 1993-1996: A Review of Government and Politics. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc., 1998.

Further Readings

  • Biskupic, Joan, and Elder Witt, eds. Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, 1997.
  • Shafroth, Frank. "Cities Gain Modest Protection from High Court Ruling on Speech."
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