The Supreme Court concluded that patronage hiring and firing of low-level government employees violates their free speech rights.
An Illinois Republican governor issued an order prohibiting state hiring without his approval, which required adherence to Republican Party beliefs. By a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court extended First Amendment protection to low-level government employees denied jobs or promotions through patronage politics. In his opinion for the Court, Justice William J. Brennan, Jr.,
Buckley v. Valeo
Elrod v. Burns
United Public Workers v. Mitchell