Argument Today: Heffernan v. City of Paterson – SCOTUS

Heffernan v. City of Paterson.

Question Presented:

Whether the First Amendment bars the government from demoting a public employee based on a supervisor’s perception that the employee supports a political candidate.

That’s right, the perception of support. If Heffernan were actually supporting a political opponent of his boss, he’d have better recourse under the First Amendment. Because he wasn’t, but his boss thought that he was, the answer is less clear. Here is some good coverage from SCOTUSblog.

Interestingly, this case has brought together the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty (Wiki) and the Federal Government in separate Amicus briefs in support of Heffernan.