Turner v. Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District

At public meeting, hydrogeologist criticizes Albuquerque, N.M.-based water district for fortifying ditch roads with rock rubble. District employee complains to the state professional engineer board, claiming that hydrogeologist’s critique amounted to the unlicensed practice of engineering. Correct, says the board. New Mexico Court of Appeals (2013): Actually, the First Amendment is pretty clear that state agencies can’t punish folks for talking at public meetings without a license. Tenth Circuit (2018): Sadly, though, the hydrogeologist is now time-barred from seeking damages over this contretemps. (If all this talk of rogue engineering boards sounds familiar, it should: IJ is suing Oregon’s for similar First Amendment violations. For more information on our case, check out Ludacris’ Facebook page—belated thanks for the shout-out, Ludacris—or visit our website.)

Tags: 2018, First Amendment, Free Speech, Tenth Circuit

Sign up to receive IJ's biweekly digital magazine, Liberty & Law along with breaking updates about our fight to protect the rights of all Americans.