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ACLJ Files Federal Lawsuit on Behalf of Republican Lawmaker Who Was Fired From Her Job at the Public Library for Her “Political Values”


Jordan Sekulow

November 30, 2023

4 min read

Radical Left



The ACLJ just filed a new federal lawsuit to defend a Republican elected official who was fired from her job at the local library for her “political values.” We must defend the rights of public employees to speak out on the crucial issues affecting our country. We’ve told you how we are taking action to fight inappropriate, obscene books that have been improperly allowed in public schools. Now we are taking action to fight for your right to do the same thing. Today we filed a lawsuit in federal court against a public library, the Dudley Tucker Library (“the Library”), in New Hampshire to vindicate the First Amendment rights of our client.

Our client, Representative Arlene R. Quaratiello, is a conservative Republican member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Her service in the legislature is part-time, and our client started a full-time job as a librarian at the Library last December. This is a public library in the town of Raymond, New Hampshire. Only a few months into our client’s employment, two citizen petitions were filed in the town of Raymond. These petitions were trying to remove the Library from the American Library Association (“ALA”) due to the ALA’s radical leftist agenda. Even more importantly, these petitions sought to ensure that the children’s library room “will be free of any books with content containing nudity, gender identity, sex or sexual references.”

It is sad that such a measure would be controversial, but unfortunately, it was. The director of the Library, Kirsten Corbett, vigorously opposed these petitions and used everything within her power, including library social media accounts, to urge people to defeat these petitions.

Our client took a different view of these sorts of issues. She sent an email to the branch of the Republican Party in the town where she lives, Atkinson, New Hampshire, urging conservatives to run for library trustee positions. She also sent a letter to a local newspaper, endorsing conservative candidates for a different public library in Atkinson.

A month after she sent the letter, she was called to meet with Director Corbett, a Library trustee, and the town manager. They told her she was terminated “because of [her] lack of separation of personal/political values and agendas from DTL policies, procedures, and occurrences” and because she was “not able to maintain the separation between personal and Library tenets.” Our client – who is an elected official – asked if this meant that she was terminated for her political activity, and they confirmed it.

Later,  Quaratiello got a copy of her personnel file. That file included the letter she wrote to the newspaper, with the part of the letter they found problematic highlighted: “They [the candidates Quaratiello endorsed] also believe in protecting our children from the increasing amount of inappropriate material available both in print and online.” It is that specific sentence that her employer found upsetting.

Eventually, the Library restored our client to her job. We do not know why; perhaps they thought that by doing so, they could avoid any consequences for what they did. They were wrong. Representative Quaratiello is not merely seeking financial remuneration; she is seeking the vindication of her First Amendment rights to speak out about questions of public concern. Recently, the Supreme Court held that a completed violation of a First Amendment right can be sufficient to establish one’s standing to sue through what are called nominal damages. Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski, 592 U. S. ____ (2021).

Our client is in such a situation; she seeks a vindication of the First Amendment rights for herself and all those who, like her, are trying to help protect children from inappropriate and explicit books. These fights are about more than money – they are about proclaiming the rights of citizens to speak out about the issues that affect all of us and ensuring a conservative voice can still be heard. We urge you to join us in the fight.

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