City of San Diego v. Roe, 543 U.S. 77 125 S. Ct. 521 (2004) (per curiam)

While working as a San Diego police officer, "John Roe" videotaped himself stripping off a generic police officer’s uniform and engaging in acts of masturbation. Roe sold the videos on the adults-only section of eBay – under the username "" After one of Roe’s supervisors discovered the videos online and recognized Roe, Roe was fired. Roe sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that his off-duty, non-work-related activities were protected by the First Amendment. The district court dismissed Roe’s claim after concluding that the videos did not address a matter of "public concern" and, therefore, were not protected by the First Amendment. The Ninth Circuit disagreed and reversed the judgment, holding that the district court erred by not balancing the San Diego Police Department’s interest in promoting "the efficiency of the public services it performs through its employees" against Roe’s free-speech interests. A unanimous United States Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Ninth Circuit, holding that it had "no difficulty in concluding that Roe’s expression does not qualify as a matter of public concern under any view of the public concern test."