The document was filed on Monday in response to the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which Strzokfiled in August. It raises pointed questions about the ability of rank-and-file government employees, as opposed to high-ranking officials, to share personal political opinions on matters of public interest — including on government-issued devices, as Strzok did.
In its motion to dismiss filed last month, the Justice Department argued that Strzok’s role in high-profile FBI investigations “imposed on him a higher burden of caution with respect to his speech.” But Strzok’s legal team retorted that “roughly eight thousand other SES-level managers are similarly situated to Strzok in the federal workforce in that they supervise employees, but the vast majority of those employees are not policy-makers.”
“The government’s argument would leave thousands of career federal government employees without protections from discipline over the content of their political speech,” they wrote in the new filing. SES refers to the Senior Executive Service, a cadre of key officials who serve as a liaison between political appointees and the rest of the workforce.