Clarkston v. White
Opinion Date: October 25, 2019
Judge: Jerry E. Smith
Areas of Law: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law
Kingdom Builders and its CEO filed suit against defendant, the Superintendent of the Louisiana Department of Education, alleging that defendant caused the denial of Kingdom Builders' charter school application in retaliation for the CEO expressing her views on disciplinary practices—including corporal punishment—on a nationally televised show. The district court held that the CEO failed to state a valid claim for retaliation. The Fifth Circuit affirmed on a different ground, holding that defendant was entitled to qualified immunity because, at the time of his alleged violation, it was not clearly established that First Amendment liability could attach to a public official who did not possess final decisionmaking authority.
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