A police detective in a New Jersey town was busted down to beat cop after being seen carrying a campaign sign for the mayor’s opponent. Suing under the claim that the demotion violated his First Amendment rights, Jeffrey Heffernan was told by an appeals court that his case had no merit. He took the case the Supreme Court, which recently overturned that ruling. From the Los Angles Times:
Just in time for the election season, the Supreme Court has strengthened legal protections for the nation’s 22 million public employees against being demoted or fired for supporting the wrong political candidate in the eyes of their supervisors.
“The Constitution prohibits a government employee from discharging or demoting an employee because the employee supports a particular political candidate,” Justice Stephen Breyer said Tuesday.
All this means in practice is that government employers will need to find or concoct some other reason for firing employees whose politics they disagree with.