Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The New Court

The biggest decision so far to break along anticipated lines appears to be an important one, scaling back the First Amendment rights of government whistleblowers, but awkwardly differentiating between employees who are speaking out in an official capacity and those who are doing so outside their job descriptions:
So, it appears that if one's duties are to expose wrongdoing in the workplace, such exposure is entitled to no constitutional protection, but that if an employee whose duties do not involve such whistleblowing makes the exact same complaint, then Pickering/Connick analysis still applies. A somewhat odd result, at least on first glance.

The overall feeling seems to be that the decision will effectively discourage whistleblowing of any kind... which is quite obviously a victory for the Bush administration. And a defeat for the rest of us.

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