Siddique v. Laliberte, No. 19-2580 (7th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
In 2013, Siddique applied for a temporary student-government position at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His application was said to have been rejected because he did not meet a minimum-enrollment requirement crafted for the position. Siddique argued that his application was rejected not because of the enrollment criteria but because of his critical stances against members of the University administration who worked with the student government and who were involved with the application process.
Siddique sued University officials in their individual capacities, under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging violation of his First Amendment right to be free from governmental retaliation. The district court determined that qualified immunity prevented Siddique’s claim from proceeding. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. Federal law does not clearly establish that enforcing an enrollment requirement for a student-government position violates the First Amendment. The right to public employment free from retaliation is not at issue and any violation of state law is irrelevant.