The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a suit brought by a Houston Community College trustee against the district.
David Wilson, the trustee, said his First Amendment rights were violated when the board censured him.
Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, writing for a unanimous court, said, “We do not see how the board’s censure could qualify as a materially adverse action consistent with our case law. The censure at issue before us was a form of speech by elected representatives. It concerned the public conduct of another elected representative. Everyone involved was an equal member of the same deliberative body. As it comes to us, too, the censure did not prevent Mr. Wilson from doing his job, it did not deny him any privilege of office, and Mr. Wilson does not allege it was defamatory. At least in these circumstances, we do not see how the board’s censure could have materially deterred an elected official like Mr. Wilson from exercising his own right to speak.”