The First Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits Congress from interfering with an individual’s right to free speech and free exercise of religion.
While acknowledging that freedom of speech occupies a “preferred position” in constitutional jurisprudence, the United States Supreme Court subjects this freedom to governmental limitations. In particular, Congress places substantial limitations on speech in the government workplace, where public employee speech receives little First Amendment protection. In Maldonado v. City of Altus, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals considered whether an English-only policy violated Spanish-speaking Hispanic employees’ First Amendment rights. The court held that the English-only policy did not violate the employees’ First Amendment rights because the ability to speak a certain language did not rise to a matter of public concern. . . .