Husch Blackwell’s Joe Diedrich appeared recently on the Institute for Justice’s Short Circuit podcast to provide analysis in connection with the Seventh Circuit’s ruling in Biggs v. Chicago Board of Ed. The appellate court affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment in the case below, a dispute between a fired elementary school’s interim principal and the Chicago Public Schools system.
The plaintiff in the case alleged that the Chicago Board of Education deprived her of her liberty to pursue her occupation as a school administrator without due process when it made stigmatizing public statements about her in connection with her termination. In holding that “no reasonable jury could find on this record that Biggs has suffered a tangible loss of employment opportunities as a result of the Board’s public allegations against her,” the Seventh Circuit affirmed the result of the trial court; however, the circuit court did challenge the logic used to reach that result, noting that “the district court defined Biggs’s occupation too broadly” and then launched into a discussion that distinguished between a “specific job” and a “field” of employment and how that distinction bears on the case at hand.
Joe was joined on the podcast by host Anthony Sanders and guest Paul Sherman, and together, they walk through the logic of the decision and discuss its implications for occupational liberty and employment law more generally.