Heffernan v. City of Paterson

Docket No. Op. Below Argument Opinion Vote Author Term
14-1280 3d Cir. Jan 19, 2016
Tr.Aud.
Apr 26, 2016 6-2 Breyer OT 2015

Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel to the respondents in this case.

Holding: When an employer demotes an employee out of a desire to prevent the employee from engaging in protected political activity, the employee is entitled to challenge that unlawful action under the First Amendment and Section 1983 even if the employer's actions are based on a factual mistake about the employee's behavior.

Judgment: Reversed and remanded, 6-2, in an opinion by Justice Breyer on April 26, 2016. Justice Thomas filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Alito joined.

SCOTUSblog Coverage

DateProceedings and Orders
Apr 22 2015Petition for a writ of certiorari filed. (Response due May 26, 2015)
May 22 2015Order extending time to file response to petition to and including June 25, 2015.
May 28 2015Waiver of right of respondent Police Chief James Wittig to respond filed.
Jun 25 2015Brief of respondents City of Paterson, New Jersey, et al. in opposition filed.
Jul 7 2015Reply of petitioner Jeffrey J. Heffernan filed.
Jul 15 2015DISTRIBUTED for Conference of September 28, 2015.
Oct 1 2015Petition GRANTED.
Nov 2 2015Consent to the filing of amicus curiae briefs, in support of either party or of neither party, received from counsel for the respondents.
Nov 12 2015Consent to the filing of amicus curiae briefs in support of either party or of neither party received from counsel for the petitioner.
Nov 16 2015Joint appendix filed. (Statement of costs filed)
Nov 16 2015Brief of petitioner Jeffrey J. Heffernan filed.
Nov 20 2015Brief amicus curiae of National Association of Government Employees filed.
Nov 23 2015Brief amicus curiae of United States filed.
Nov 23 2015Brief amicus curiae of The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty filed.
Nov 23 2015Brief amici curiae of Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, et al. filed.
Nov 24 2015SET FOR ARGUMENT on Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Dec 4 2015Record requested from U.S.C.A. 3rd Circuit.
Dec 15 2015CIRCULATED.
Dec 16 2015Brief of respondents City of Paterson, New Jersey, et al. filed. (Distributed)
Dec 21 2015Motion of the Solicitor General for leave to participate in oral argument as amicus curiae and for divided argument filed.
Dec 21 2015Record from the U.S.C.A. 3rd Circuit is electronic.
Dec 21 2015The record from the U.S.D.C. District of New Jersey (Newark) is electronic and located on PACER.
Dec 23 2015Brief amicus curiae of New Jersey State League of Municipalities filed. (Distributed)
Dec 23 2015Brief amici curiae of National Conference of State Legislatures, et al. filed. (Distributed)
Jan 5 2016Reply of petitioner Jeffrey J. Heffernan filed. (Distributed)
Jan 8 2016Motion of the Solicitor General for leave to participate in oral argument as amicus curiae and for divided argument GRANTED.
Jan 19 2016Argued. For petitioner: Mark Frost, Philadelphia, Pa.; and Ginger D. Anders, Assistant to the Solicitor General, Department of Justice, Washington, D. C. (for United States, as amicus curiae). For respondents: Thomas C. Goldstein, Bethesda, Md.
Apr 26 2016Judgment REVERSED and case REMANDED. Breyer, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Roberts, C. J., and Kennedy, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan, JJ., joined. Thomas, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Alito, J., joined.
May 31 2016JUDGMENT ISSUED
 
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