The sheriff is an elected official. A deputy "liked" his opponent on facebook. The sheriff won re-election and then fired the deputy. The reason for the firing was due to the "liking" of his opponent.
Free-speech advocates argue that the "like" should have been clearly protected by Carter's right to freedom of expression. But a U.S. District Court judge in Virginia ruled differently saying, in effect, that free-speech protections don't kick in when someone doesn't actually say something.
"Liking a Facebook page is insufficient speech to merit constitutional protection," Judge Judge Raymond A. Jackson wrote in his May ruling, because it doesn't "involve actual statements."