A state appeals court has ruled it was not a First Amendment violation, or arbitrary and capricious, for New York City’s child welfare agency to avoid hiring a man in part because he’d published an essay that laid out his views on the fundamental unfairness of the criminal justice system.

“The record supports [the Administration for Children's Services] assertion that it declined to hire petitioner because of its concern for the potential impact of his speech on his work, and not in retaliation for the content of that speech,” wrote a panel of Appellate Division, First Department justices, in part, as the panel addressed a First Amendment-based argument leveled by the man in his action against city agency ACS after it didn’t hire him as a youth development specialist.