“Like” as Speech, Bland v. Roberts (amicus curiae)
Several former employees of the Hampton sheriff alleged that they were fired for having supported the sheriff’s opponent in an election. One of the employees had “liked” the opponent’s Facebook page. The district court, dismissing the case, held among other things that “liking” a Facebook page was not sufficient speech to be protected by the First Amendment. The plaintiffs appealed. On August 6, 2012, we filed an amicus brief in the Fourth Circuit, arguing that “liking” a page communicates a clear message and is protected by the First Amendment. Oral arguments were heard on May 16, 2013. The Fourth Circuit court issued an opinion on September 18, 2013 reversing the district court's decision, finding that “liking” a Facebook page constitutes protected speech.
Court Documents (click link to view .pdf)
Brief of Amicus Curiae - U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
Opinion - U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit