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When porn is ‘research,’ First Amendment may apply

by on
in Employment Law,Human Resources

Some professions in the public sector may benefit from constitutional protections more than other employees.

Recent case: Ronald worked as an economics professor at the University of Texas. A graduate student walking by Ronald’s office complained to management that she heard “sexual noises” coming from the office, prompting a police investigation. An investigation revealed Ronald had accessed pornographic sites on his university computer. After a hearing, Ronald was fired.

He sued, alleging that his First Amendment rights had been violated because he was researching pornography as part of his job.

Luckily for the university, he lost the case on a technicality because he didn’t press the claim soon enough. (Ayers v. Board of Regents, et al., No. 12-51166, 5th Cir., 2014)

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