According to the Supreme Court opinion issued today in the whistleblower case Garcetti v. Ceballos (No. 04-473): “We reject, however, the notion that the First Amendment shields from discipline the expressions employees make pursuant to their professional duties.” In other words, public employees who blow the whistle can be retaliated against. In making the decision, the court cites “the powerful network of legislative enactments—such as whistle-blower protection laws and labor codes—available to those who seek to expose wrongdoing.” Anyone who works with whistleblowers or who bothered to read the daily newspaper would know that this claim is complete fallacious – especially see the Congressional Research Service’s December 2005 report, the House National Security Subcommittee Briefing Memo on whistleblower protections from February 2006 (pdf), or POGO’s report from last year. Here is a list of important federal whistleblowers who have been fired or demoted in recent years. These cases are just the tip of the iceberg – please add more in your comments. Also see goverup's posting today on this issue.
-- Beth Daley