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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW it is acceptable for a mayor to fire the director of a community cable television station and replace him with partisan campaign personnel, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said on May 1. Rosenberg v. City of Everett, No. 02-1542. The discharged director claimed that the newly elected mayor of Everett, Mass., fired him because he had given the previous mayor an extension of time to submit a videotape for an election-related program. He claimed that this alleged retaliation violates public policy, because Federal Communications Commission “equal time” regulations required him to grant the extension. A Massachusetts federal court disagreed, dismissing his First Amendment claim and then granting summary judgment for the municipality on the director’s claim of political discrimination. Affirming, the 1st Circuit held that the new mayor and the city had not politically discriminated against the director, in violation of 42 U.S.C. 1983, when it allegedly replaced him for lack of political support for the new administration. The court rejected the argument that the public benefits from having a public-access cable station that is “not beholden to city government,” calling that a “narrow view.” Dismissal for political reasons is permissible if party affiliation is an appropriate requirement for effective performance of a public office, the three-judge panel said. n CRIMINAL PRACTICE

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