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SCOTUS Issues Landmark Decision About Government Officials’ Social Media Pages and the First Amendment
On Friday, March 15, 2024, the US Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in Lindke v. Freed, which addressed public officials, their social media pages, and the First Amendment.  Though this unanimous decision is complex, the Court’s essential holding is: “When a government official posts about job-related topics on social media, it can be difficult to tell whether the speech is official or private. We hold that such speech is attributable to the State only if the official (1) possessed actual authority to speak on the State’s behalf, and (2) purported to exercise that authority when he spoke on social media.” Lindke also decided on a per curiam basis a companion case, O’Connor-Ratcliff v. Garnier.

Lindke has significant implications for public officials’ use of social media and for governmental entities’ policies concerning social media and communications. Please contact us if you have any questions or if we can assist you.

Click here to see the court’s opinion in Lindke v. Freed.

Click here to see the court’s opinion in O’Connor-Ratcliff v. Garnier.