Speech, administrative law, first amendment, regulatory state


A lawyer’s speech as advisor and advocate not only holds First Amendment value for the client and for the public, but also for the functioning of American democracy. This is supported both by foundational values undergirding the First Amendment as well as Supreme Court doctrine. This Article builds upon that analysis to posit that lawyers for the regulatory state ought not to be treated as government employees for purposes of the First Amendment when engaged in speech about workplace conditions related to curbing abuse of power, corruption, or other illegality. While this position runs counter to the existing precedent of closely divided Supreme Court decisions, it finds support in a historical and philosophical understanding of free speech principles.