Second Circuit Remands Salvatore Davi’s Case to District Court for Further Proceedings

On March 24, 2023, a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals remanded Davi v. Hein to the district court for further proceedings. In 2021, District Judge Edward R. Korman had ruled that New York’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (“OTDA”) violated former Administrative Law Judge Salvatore Davi’s right to free speech when it suspended and demoted him because he posted comments on Facebook that were critical of welfare policy proposals.

On Appeal, the three-judge panel vacated Judge Korman’s order granting Davi’s motion for summary judgment because it did not “adequately consider whether [Davi’s] speech would cause probable future disruption” to the OTDA’s operations and did not adequately weigh Davi’s “’public-facing’ role as a hearing officer.” The panel emphasized that it did “not intend to suggest or imply… a view as to the conclusion the district court should reach” in balancing Davi’s “exercise of quintessential First Amendment rights” and the ability of OTDA to maintain an orderly operation.

Read the Panel’s Summary Order