Political Speech

ACLU Sues U.S. Courts Administrative Office for Violation of Free Speech

Obama Biden campaign sign

New rules implemented in March are barring hundred of support staff at the Administrative Office of the United States Courts from engaging in political activity, including expressing their political views on social media or donating to political parties.

The ACLU is arguing that it is unconstitutional and in violation of First Amendment rights. The organization filed a lawsuit on Thursday in Washington federal court.

“During my three decades in public service, I’ve never had to choose between my job and being an active participant in our democracy,” one of the plaintiffs in the case, Lisa Guffey, said in a statement, as reported by Bloomberg.

April 27, 2018: Federal Judiciary Employees Will Challenge Code of Conduct Citing Limits On Political Activity 

Changes to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts code of conduct went into effect on March 1, prohibiting “partisan political activity” by employees, such as expressing opinions on social media, wearing political buttons or making campaign contributions to political parties or candidates.

Some employees plan to contest the new rules, saying they violate their First Amendment rights.

Law.com Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees