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Melton v. City of Forrest City

Description:  Steven Melton, a firefighter for the city of Forrest City, Arkansas, was let go from the fire department after he posted on social media expressing his pro-life views. Melton is challenging the city for censoring his views in the public square.

Arkansas State Capitol
Friday, Feb 2, 2024

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer, director of the ADF Center for Academic Freedom, regarding a friend-of-the-court brief ADF attorneys filed Thursday on behalf of The Douglass Leadership Institute, The Radiance Foundation, and Speak for Life at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit in the case Melton v. City of Forrest City, in which a firefighter in good standing with the city had his employment terminated after he posted a pro-life image on social media:

“All Americans should be free to express viewpoints and ideas without fear of government intervention. When the government decides which topics are appropriate for debate, we all lose. As we explain in our brief, the First Amendment’s absolute bar on viewpoint discrimination protects the full-bodied discussions necessary for representative democracy to function. If the government monopolizes the marketplace of ideas, organizations like The Douglass Leadership Institute, The Radiance Foundation, and Speak for Life, which stand for life, especially Black communities that are disproportionately affected by abortion, cannot speak without fear of government reprisal. We urge the 8th Circuit to reverse the lower court decision and allow free speech to flourish for all.”

  • Pronunciation guide: Langhofer (LANG’-hoff-ur)

The ADF Center for Academic Freedom is dedicated to protecting First Amendment and related freedoms for students and faculty so that everyone can freely participate in the marketplace of ideas without fear of government censorship.

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ABOUT Tyson Langhofer

Tyson Langhofer serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom and director of its Center for Academic Freedom. Before joining ADF, Langhofer was a partner with Stinson Leonard Street LLP, where he worked as a commercial litigation attorney for 15 years and earned Martindale-Hubbell’s AV Preeminent® rating. Langhofer earned his Juris Doctor from Regent University School of Law, where he graduated cum laude in 1999. He obtained a B.A. in international business with a minor in economics from Wichita State University in 1996. A member of the bar in Virginia, Kansas, and Arizona, Langhofer is also admitted to practice in numerous federal district courts.