Wood v. Ruppe

Below is language from a DC Federal District case involving the termination of a Peace Corp volunteer. In this particular case, the individual was expressing political views related to the US military intervention in Grenada, while stationed in the Dominican Republic.

"Peace Corps policy does not prohibit private speech by its volunteers on matters of political expression, although volunteers are admonished to portray their opinions as their own, and not as representative of the Peace Corps or the U.S. Government's position. ... It is only in situations ... where there has been a direct threat to the interest of the Peace Corps, that speech is prohibited; thus, the policy is narrowly tailored to restrict speech no more than is necessary to protect a compelling government interest."

Wood v. Ruppe, 659 F.Supp. 403, 410-11 (D.D.C. 1987).

This case indicates that the Peace Corps has the same burden as any other federal agency in its efforts to restrict Free Speech. In particular, there must be a substantial governmental interest, and the restriction must be the least restrictive means.