The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejected a series of restrictions that limited the political activity federal court workers could engage in outside of the office, citing free speech problems.
In a split ruling, the court held that employee code of conduct revisions implemented by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts in 2018—including barring making campaign contributions and posting about candidates on social media—weren’t needed to maintain the perception of the judiciary’s independence and violated the First Amendment. Employees of the AO, which provides support to the judiciary, perform administrative duties like handling human resources and assisting courts with information technology, but aren’t involved in resolving cases.
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