Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Bizarre First Amendment case tests whether public job holders can be left alone when silent

The Supreme Court heard a bizarre First Amendment case yesterday, regarding the demotion of a police officer in Paterson, NJ after officials mistakenly believed he was participating in political activity.

The officer, Jeffrey Heffernan, had been seen handling a political yard sign for his mother, on his own time.

Fred Barnes gives a detailed summary of the story (“At heard of free speech case, silence”) in the Wednesday Washington Post.

The SCOTUS blog offers analysis, as to whether “political agonisticism” is the same as “political neutrality” for non-political public employee positions.  

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