Rebutting the Prima Facie Showing.
The Second Circuit has held that an employer sued for failing to promote an employee in retaliation for his exercise of his First Amendment rights may not be awarded summary judgment because a jury could have ruled in his favor on the issue of whether he rebutted the plaintiff's prima facie showing of a retaliatory action, but can only be awarded summary judgment if he rebuts the prima facie showing by making a showing that no reasonable jury, drawing all references in the plaintiff's favor, could have ruled for the plaintiff. It reversed the decision of the District Court, granting summary judgment to the defendant on that issue.
The decision in Dillon v. Morano
can be found here