Political leanings, social mores, religious beliefs are real. And reasonable people tend to avoid clashing with them, at least in their professional life. As the cliche goes, they know they would be barking up the wrong tree.
Yet, Teresa Wagner applied for a teaching tenure-track position at the University of Iowa College of Law. Members of the faculty seem to embrace liberal ideology. She is a conservative. After she was turned down for that as well as adjunct positions, Wagner sued. Eventually her case was approved to go to trial, which started yesterday. She is seeking employment and damages.
At stake, of course, is the First Amendment right to freedom of association. That indeed is important. However, in this pursuit, Wagner is investing a lot of energy which could have been channeled into enhancing her credentials so that she would be more marketable as a professor, no matter what the alleged political leanings.
Sure, I have a right, since age discrimination is banned, to apply for jobs as an account executive in cool public relations shops in Manhattan. Those are manned primarily by Millennials (18 to 35). As an aging Baby Boomers I likely would not fit the corporate culture. Also, it would not be an image plus for the agency to have me on an account. Even applying for a full time onsite job would be waste of time. Also, I open myself to becoming a joke in the public relations grapevine, "Geezer Genova applied at X shop. Ha-Ha." Instead I pursue freelance assignments from all kinds of agencies and only apply for onsite ones operated by members of Generation X, Baby Boomers, and the Silent Generation.