VICTORY: U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Government Effort to Crack Down on Whistleblowers
In a 7-2 ruling in Department of Homeland Security v. MacLean, the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected the federal government’s attempts to eviscerate protections for employee speech under the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA). In upholding a federal air marshal’s claim that he was improperly fired by the Transportation Security Administration after he leaked to the media a plan by the TSA to remove air marshals from long distance flights as a cost-savings measure, the justices affirmed a lower court ruling that federal agencies may not issue regulations that remove the protections of the WPA for certain information, requiring exemptions be specifically approved by Congress.
In an amicus curiae brief filed in the case, attorneys for The Rutherford Institute argued that government agencies should not have the power to unilaterally determine what kind of information federal employees are forbidden from disclosing, asserting that this would further tip the balance toward agencies, allowing them to exploit their rulemaking powers to target legitimate whistleblowers acting in the interest of public safety.
“Ironically, while the Department of Homeland Security continues to push its ‘See Something, Say Something’ campaign urging Americans to report suspicious behavior to the police, call it in to a government hotline, or report it using a convenient app on their smart phone, the government doesn’t take kindly to having its dirty deeds publicized and, God forbid, being made to account for them,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State. “Unfortunately, this is par for the course for the Obama administration, whose actions, ranging from its reliance on secret courts, secret laws and secret surveillance in order to sidestep the rule of law to its relentless pursuit of whistleblowers, fly in the face of its claims of transparency.” Full Story.
Follow Us For Updates: