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Inc. v. City of Northlake O'Hare Truck Service

The Patronage System

Political patronage has been practiced throughout the history of the United States. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams all openly made patronage appointments; Washington's explicit policy was that high-level appointments would be based on patronage, low-level appointments on performance. Andrew Jackson entrenched the practice, giving personal attention to all patronage appointments. In 1883, the Pendleton Act, which created a Civil Service Commission and merit system, put a damper on patronage to some degree, but until the 1950s the courts basically held that no one had a right to public employment. In the latter half of the twentieth century, the courts turned their attention to the First Amendment rights of public employees.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1995 to PresentInc. v. City of Northlake O'Hare Truck Service - Significance, The Patronage System, Elrod, Branti, Rutan, The Case In The Lower Courts