- Posted by Dan
- On December 21, 2010
- 0 Comments
State Trooper Robert Eckerman has been fighting to get a chance to present his claim of discrimination based upon his political affiliation to a jury of his peers. The trial court found that his case should be dismissed.
However, in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals which includes Tennessee, in Robert Eckerman v. Tennessee Department of Safety, 09-6181, ruled that he was entitled to present his case to a jury. This will permit the case to move forward for a trial on the merits. Although an appeal could be filed to the US Supreme Court, it is unlikely that they would accept the case. The US Supreme Court accepts less than 100 cases every year.
Eckerman supports Republican candidates in a number of ways including putting up yard signs and displaying bumper stickers on his personal car. He claims that after Governor Phil Bredesen was elected in 2003 he was the subject of a number of retaliations by pro-Democrat superiors, including being demoted from the rank of lieutenant to sergeant.
The Tennessee Civil Service Commission reversed the demotion and reinstated him to the rank of lieutenant. However this case wasn’t a dispute over the Commissions findings. Instead Eckerman filed a “constitutional tort” claim asserting that his constitutional right to affiliation had been infringed upon. It will certainly be interested to see how this case concludes.