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Political Speech Limits for Judiciary Workers Rebuffed on Appeal

Aug. 16, 2022, 4:56 PM

New rules limiting the partisan political activities of employees at the Administrative Office of the United States Courts violate these workers’ constitutionally protected free speech rights, the D.C. Circuit ruled Tuesday in a 2-1 split opinion.

The office’s stated reasons for restricting workers’ political speech—maintaining the public perception of an impartial judiciary and keeping the trust of judges and Congress—are too speculative to overcome the considerable interests workers have in engaging in political expression, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit said in an opinion by Judge Justin R. Walker.

There’s “nothing in the record” to suggest the ...