ISBA Laureate Mary Lee Leahy passed away Wednesday in Chicago. She was 72. Leahy was best known for winning the U.S. Supreme Court case Rutan v. Republican Party of Illinois – which banned most political hiring. She passed away in her Chicago condominum following a battle with pancreatic cancer.Here is the bio from her 2001 Laureate induction: Two years after she graduated from law school in 1966, Mary Lee Leahy was principal attorney in the first of several landmark cases she has won in her distinguished career.Pickering versus Board of Education, argued in the U.S. Supreme Court, established the right of public employees to publicly criticize their employers.Perhaps her most familiar case – Rutan – was a class action decided in 1990 by the U.S. Supreme Court. It established the right of public employees to support or not to support a political party or candidate for public office without being denied promotion, transfer, recall from lay-off and employment due to a political patronage system. As the saying goes, "this changed everything."