Seventh Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Political Retaliation Lawsuit

Attorneys: Callicoat, Jason    Lemley, Brandon K.    Rettberg, Paul A.

Related Practices: Appellate

 

April 18, 2012

Brandon K. Lemley, Paul A. Rettberg, and Jason Callicoat scored a victory before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of a municipality and its officials.

In Benedix v. Village of Hanover Park, et al., the Village legislature eliminated three positions from the budget, including that of the plaintiff. At issue was whether the plaintiff could state a cause of action for political retaliation under the First Amendment when her boss was politically active but she was not.

The Seventh Circuit held that the District Court correctly dismissed the lawsuit as a political association claim requires that the plaintiff engage in the protected activity as opposed to merely associating with a person who engaged in political activity. The Seventh Circuit also held that, even if plaintiff had been terminated for political reasons, political considerations were appropriate as she was the “Executive Coordinator” to a policy making employee.

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