A Facebook “like” is speech that is protected by the First Amendment, a federal appeals court has ruled in the case of a sheriff’s employee who lost his job for liking the sheriff’s election opponent. A federal judge in Virginia had ruled that clicking like was “insufficient speech to merit constitutional protection,” but the Richmond-Va.-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed. Liking a political candidate’s campaign page “is the Internet equivalent of displaying a political sign in one’s front yard, which the Supreme Court has held is substantive speech,” the court said. The National Law Journal, Bloomberg News and the Wall Street Journal Law Blog covered the ruling, and How Appealing linked to the opinion (PDF). The court ruled on behalf of jailer Daniel Carter, who lost his job after Hampton, . . .