BAR MEMBERSHIP AND PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT:
RESTRAINTS ON CONDUCT
If gov't employer seeks to fire an employee for speech-related conduct, one of two tests will apply, depending on whether the speech involved a matter of public concern. If it concerns a matter of public concern, courts must carefully balance the employee's rights as a citizen to comment against the gov't's interest as an employer in the efficient performance of public service. If the speech did not involve a matter of public concern, the courts should give a wide degree of deference to the gov't employer's judgement concerning whether the speech was disruptive.
OFFICIAL DUTY EXCEPTION: A gov't employer may punish a public employee's speech whenever the speech is made pursuant to the employee's official duties. This is true even if the speech touches on a matter of public concern.
PARTICIPATION IN POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS: the federal gov't may prohibit executive branch employees from taking an active part in political campaigns -- to discourage partisanship and to protect employees from being coerced to work for the election of thier employers.
PATRONAGE: The 1st amendment freedoms of political belief and association forbid the hiring, promotion, transfer, firing, or recall of a public employee because of political party affiliation unless the hiring authority demonstrates that the party affiliation is an appropriate requirement for the effective performance of the public office involved (policy making or confidential nature of work).