I agree that Florida may require state employees to affirm that they "will support the Constitution of the United States and of the State of Florida." Such a forward- looking, promissory oath of constitutional support does not in my view offend the First Amendment's command that the grant or denial of governmental benefits cannot be made to turn on the political viewpoint. or affiliation of a would-be beneficiary. I also agree that Florida may not base its employment decisions, as to state teacher or any other hiring category, on an applicants willingness to affirm "that I do not believe in the overthrow of the government of the United States or of the State of Florida by force or violence."
Marshall, T. Justice Marshall, Concurring, Connell v. Higginbotham, 403 U.S. 207 (1971). Box 367, Harry A. Blackmun Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.