Attorneys for Facebook and the ACLU want a federal appeals court in Richmond to rule that clicking the like button is free speech - protected by the constitution.
Sheriff B.J. Roberts fired six employees after they supported his opponent during Roberts' 2009 re-election bid, which he won.
One of the workers 'liked' the Facebook page of Roberts' opponent.
Employees with the Hampton Sheriff's Office made a statement when they supported the sheriff's opponent during a 2009 election campaign whether it's typing a message or clicking "like" on a Facebook page.
NBC Legal Analyst, Steve Benjamin said Americans' opinions are protected by the constitution.
"We all have a right to express ourselves, not only through what you say through speech but also through your conduct," said Benjamin.
The workers sued, saying their rights were violated. But a U.S. District Judge ruled that simply clicking the "like" option wasn't sufficient enough for First Amendment protection.
"It doesn't matter if you are a police officer or anything else," said Nasim Vosougkah. "You have the same rights as every other citizen in this country. So they should not have been fired."
"Everyone has a right to voice their opinion," said Peter McArthur. "That's one of the great things about America."
Public employees still have their right to free speech, but it's still unknown if clicking the like button was the sole reason for the firing.
"If you're fired because you disrupted the operations of the office, that's a legitimate firing," Benjamin. "If you're fired primarily because of what you said on a matter of public concern, then courts would find it's not an acceptable firing."
The former Hampton Sheriff's Office employees have appealed. If the court decides a "like" is an expression of an idea, it will send the case back to the district court judge with instructions to proceed.
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