Court: Philly Police Can Make Political Contributions

Other city employees are allowed to contribute.

A federal appeals court says Philadelphia’s ban on political contributions by police officers violates their First Amendment rights and should be struck down, Newsworks reports. Other city employees already have the right to contribute to city campaigns.

Thomas Jennings, a lawyer for the Fraternal Order of Police, said the ruling will give the union’s political action committee viability.

“It will give them a meaningful voice,” said Jennings. “For good, bad or otherwise, that seems to be an essential ingredient to have a voice at the table … is to have a meaningful PAC. And they will finally have one as, I would point out, the non-uniformed employees have had for decades and the firefighters have had now for five years.”

The ban has been part of the city charter more than 60 years. Officials said they did not know if City Hall will appeal.