DAVID MCCLURE; AMALGAMATED TRANSIT UNION LOCAL 1300, Plaintiffs - Appellants,
JAMES PORTS; EARL LEWIS; PAUL COMFORT; LOUIS JONES; KEVIN QUINN, Defendants - Appellees.
Argued: December 13, 2018
from the United States District Court for the District of
Maryland, at Baltimore. Marvin J. Garbis, Senior District
Geoghegan, DESPRES SCHWARTZ & GEOGHEGAN LTD., Chicago,
Illinois, for Appellants.
Scott Hartwig, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF MARYLAND,
Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellees.
B. Smith, AMALGAMATED TRANSIT UNION, Silver Spring, Maryland,
E. Frosh, Attorney General, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF
MARYLAND, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellees.
MOTZ, AGEE, and RICHARDSON, Circuit Judges.
GRIBBON MOTZ, Circuit Judge.
McClure and the public-sector union he represents,
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1300 ("Local
1300"), brought this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action
asserting First and Fourteenth Amendment claims. They seek to
reinstate privileges that granted them special access to
restricted Maryland Transit Administration ("MTA")
property. They claim that Maryland Department of
Transportation officials unconstitutionally limited those
privileges in retaliation for McClure's criticism of the
MTA. McClure separately contends that the officials violated
his constitutional rights by ejecting him from MTA property.
The district court granted summary judgment to the
transportation officials. McClure and Local 1300 appeal. For
the reasons that follow, we affirm.
employs bus drivers and operations workers represented by
Local 1300. MTA employees, on leave of absence to perform
union duties full-time, make up Local 1300's executive
staff. The collective bargaining agreement between Local 1300
and the MTA governs this arrangement. Article V of that
agreement, titled "Union Activity on MTA Premises,"
UNION business shall not be conducted on MTA property, or on
MTA's paid time without the permission of a department
head or a representative authorized by him/her. However, it
is understood that every effort shall be made to cooperate
with such UNION representative when and if such permission is
sought for the purpose of legitimate UNION business.
agreement also specifies that Local 1300 "officers,
while on leave of absence, shall comply with all MTA
regulations pertaining to entry into any part of the
MTA's premises, vehicles or other MTA property."
the MTA contractually reserved the right to regulate access
to its premises, the agency had allowed some Local 1300
officers to maintain access to restricted government property
through electronic keycards. One of these officers is Local
1300 President David McClure, who had received broad keycard
access to property - like garages and rail terminals - where
union members worked.
other officers had also retained residual access to MTA
property, consistent with their former positions and more
limited in scope. For example, Local 1300's vice
president previously operated subway trains, so his keycard
had remained programmed to access an MTA subway facility.
Although the MTA's standard practice is to suspend an
employee's access upon leave, it had not done so for
8, 2016, Local 1300 launched an advocacy campaign warning
against assertedly unsafe MTA policies and operations. In the
weeks that followed, Local 1300 issued critical reports,
circulated petitions, and hosted town halls; McClure also