This recent United States Supreme Court decision determined that hiring, rehiring after layoffs, promotions, and transfers based on political affiliation or support, were impermissible infringements on a public employees' first amendment rights. This note examines the conflicting cases prior to Rutan, the Rutan decision, and the implications the decision will have in the area of political patronage employment practices. The author concludes that Rutan clarifies the scope of the First Amendment protection given employees from patronage practices but fails to clarify who is to receive the protection and suggests that the traditional "confidential or policymaking" test be modified.
College of Law
Northern Illinois University Law Review
"Rutan v. Republican Party of Illinois and Patronage Employment Practices: Clarification or Confusion?,"
Northern Illinois University Law Review: Vol. 11:
2, Article 5.
David Herman, Note, Rutan v. Republican Party of Illinois and Patronage Employment Practices: Clarification or Confusion?, 11 N. Ill. U. L. Rev. 375 (1991).