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Whistle-Blowers Watch Out, Your Not Protected

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posted on May, 30 2006 @ 02:21 PM
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The Supreme court ruled today, May 30, that Whistle Blowers do not get protection under the first amendment when it comes to releasing classified documents. This 5-4 vote will make it harder for Whistle Blowers to make allegations of misconduct in official reports. In simpler words, the supreme court ruled that releasing information that your employer does not approve of is not protected by the first amendment of free speech.
 



www.csmonitor.com
WASHINGTON – Government employees do not enjoy free-speech protection against being disciplined for exposing official misconduct at work. In an important decision that will make it more difficult for some government whistle-blowers, the US Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that public workers who make allegations of misconduct in official reports and in work-related statements may be disciplined for their speech without violating First Amendment protections.

The 5-to-4 decision came in the case of Richard Ceballos, a supervising district attorney in Los Angeles. Mr. Ceballos had raised questions in a memo about whether a deputy sheriff had lied to obtain a search warrant. Ceballos later testified for defense attorneys who were attacking the validity of the search warrant and seeking to have the case against their client dismissed.

"When public employees make statements pursuant to their official duties, [they] are not speaking as citizens for First Amendment purposes, and the Constitution does not insulate their communications from employer discipline," writes Justice Anthony Kennedy for the majority.

"When an employee speaks as a citizen addressing a matter of public concern, the First Amendment requires a delicate balancing of the competing interests surrounding the speech and its consequences," Justice Kennedy writes. "When, however, the employee is simply performing his or her job duties, there is no warrant for a similar degree of scrutiny."

"Of course a supervisor may take corrective action when such speech is inflammatory or misguided," Justice Stevens writes. "But what if it is just unwelcome speech because it reveals facts that the supervisor would rather not have anyone else discover?"




Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Well I guess the Whistle Blowers have a whole new problem to worry about now. Your not protected with free speech if you talk about things your employer doesnt want you to release. Justice Stevens makes a good point when he says, "but what if it is just unwelcome speech becuase it reveals facts that the supervisor would rather not have anyone else discover?"

what if that is the case? Let me ask you a question. If you worked at a bank, and you saw your employer was skimming on accounts, wouldn't you want to "blow the whistle" on them? Its wrong, but what if your employer is the law? Then who do you call? Thats the case that you must wonder. How can you get some one in trouble if they are the ones enforcing the law?

Related News Links:
today.reuters.com




posted on May, 30 2006 @ 04:52 PM
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Wait a minute, I'm so confused. How can this reconcile with the "Whistleblower Protection Act" then? How can there be any protection under the Whistleblower Protection Act at all after this ruling?

What just happened here?


So, there's no more whistleblowing for public employees? These are the only employees I have, and I think this stinks! Someone is forgetting that we the taxpayers are ultimately the employers of these people, and I do not see how this is in our best interest.


[edit on 5/30/2006 by Relentless]



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 04:55 PM
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actually it just threw that completely aside. I wasnt aware of such an act. How can this be done?



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 04:59 PM
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thomas.loc.gov...:1:./temp/~c101pqzZ3F:e737:

a) FINDINGS- The Congress finds that--

(1) Federal employees who make disclosures described in section 2302(b)(8) of title 5, United States Code, serve the public interest by assisting in the elimination of fraud, waste, abuse, and unnecessary Government expenditures;

(2) protecting employees who disclose Government illegality, waste, and corruption is a major step toward a more effective civil service; and

(3) in passing the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, Congress established the Office of Special Counsel to protect whistleblowers (those individuals who make disclosures described in such section 2302(b)(8)) from reprisal.

(b) PURPOSE- The purpose of this Act is to strengthen and improve protection for the rights of Federal employees, to prevent reprisals, and to help eliminate wrongdoing within the Government by--

(1) mandating that employees should not suffer adverse consequences as a result of prohibited personnel practices; and

(2) establishing--

(A) that the primary role of the Office of Special Counsel is to protect employees, especially whistleblowers, from prohibited personnel practices;

(B) that the Office of Special Counsel shall act in the interests of employees who seek assistance from the Office of Special Counsel; and

(C) that while disciplining those who commit prohibited personnel practices may be used as a means by which to help accomplish that goal, the protection of individuals who are the subject of prohibited personnel practices remains the paramount consideration.


that about says it all. This decision conflicts with this DIRECTLY. this is very interesting and a bit worrying. What does everyone else think?



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 05:04 PM
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the government obviously has a lot going on that they want to conceal.

Canada is pretty much the same way...except that we don't really have whistle blowers... people here just don't speak out as much as they do in the US. Not because there's not a lot of wrong doing...it's just unknown to the general public.

It took the Gomery Enquiry to bring light to the corruption in Parliament, now Canada too is looking toward finding "creative" ways to stifle the snitches.

No one wants to rock the boat. So complacency sets in and governments run wild and unchecked. We're still finding a ton of issues that were swept under the carpet after the Liberals lost out... from stolen funds to Pribvacy breeches and all things in between...

If all people who felt the governments were doing poorly stood up at the same time and made it known that we've had enough - MAYBE something could be accomplished. What would the gov. do? Arrest everyone? Impliment mass punishments? One or two folks can dismissed as trouble makers, a large handful can be dismissed as conspiracy theorists, a large chunk of society...now them's actions to back up words. Never going to happen. Never. They know it.

People it seems, don't want to interrupt their lives for even a single day of protest against any sort of corruption. It baffles the mind to see it be hashed out in the media, in Chambers, and on forums and debate sessions...yet it remains unchanged and unchallenged.



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 06:20 PM
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This does not sound good to me either. I agree that is seems like some one is trying to find a way to mute the people who speak out against coruption. And if a broader sence possibley one step closer to the police state, or new world order.



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 06:32 PM
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The thing is this another screaming example of the judicial arm overstepping their bounds again and ending up legislating instead of doing their job which is to uphold legislation.

This has been going on for a few decades now and it's escalating. Everything is so convoluted at this point that I think the judiciary has forgotten what their role is and they can ignore it entirely in favor of their personal opinions. I really don't see any hope for correcting this debacle of debacles at this point.

If anyone can find a link to the actual full written decision I would love to have a look at it. I really would love to see exactly how they justified this. It would be a major eye opener I think into how badly the courts are erring.

Edit: I am looking by the way, I just can't seem to find it.

[edit on 5/30/2006 by Relentless]



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 06:44 PM
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The Dems tried to block Roberts and Alito but the public would have nothing to do with it. Enjoy, these guys will be around for decades.



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 06:46 PM
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im looking too relentless, I think it might not be out yet. Could be out, but maybe not yet.



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 07:07 PM
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Originally posted by donwhite
The Dems tried to block Roberts and Alito but the public would have nothing to do with it. Enjoy, these guys will be around for decades.


Okay - everyone needs to WAKE UP NOW! This is not a Republican thing. It has been going on for decades and both sides are equally cupable.

If it were just a Republican thing it wouldn't be so frightening, it would be a recent problem not a culmination of years of trends.



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 07:17 PM
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I agree its not a republican thing, its a power thing. Its a business thing. Its a judicial branch and executive branch teaming up to grab the power.

How can the FBI claim to be for cracking down on felony in the government and business, when the executive branch is making it so these people cant come out and tell them its happening? At the same time the FBI is raiding the congress offices taking all the documents, case related and not with them.

The executive and judicial branches seem to be striking down upon the people and legislative branch. Give the executive and judicial branch the power to make the laws, and congress becomes worthless.
the seperation of powers is now broken.



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 07:35 PM
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Relentless your totally right...this is a Government thing...wether it be dems or reps either side is corrupt and out to further thier own personal agenda. While this is really frightening it really is just another brick in the wall.

If this makes it the main stream media i will be shocked...and even if it does no way does it get more then 3.4 minutes of coverage ya know.

But what can we do...they make the laws..the COngress...and then Activist Judgtes wether they be on the Left or on the RIght rewrite the law without the consent of the governed...it seems like regardless of what branch of government it is....you can pretty much assume that they are either over stepping thier bounds or breaking the law.

Whats a proud american to do?



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 07:46 PM
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The winds of deceit are in full gale now!

This decision has just taken that much more power out of the peoples hands and placed the capability of ANY and EVERY govt and business institution to get away with preverbial 'murder'


Combine this with the eminent domain and bankruptcy laws

and our business leaders and govt officials can relly take a big crap on the average american and theres little w can do about it.

What sickens me the most about this is that; now we cant even hold these two institution's illegal activities,accountable. The noose is tightening on old lady liberty for the common man yet again!



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 07:53 PM
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I'm in full agreement. This is not a Republican nor is it a Democrat thing. This is a power grab. At the point we're going, we're only going to get what the MSM tells us. As we've already seen in other threads, this is not always the most reliable source of information anymore either. I love my country, but boy, this is not going well. If we don't have whistleblowers, someone looking out for the greater good of the people and getting info out there, the tunnel only goes deeper.





posted on May, 30 2006 @ 08:06 PM
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Originally posted by TONE23
The winds of deceit are in full gale now!

This decision has just taken that much more power out of the peoples hands and placed the capability of ANY and EVERY govt and business institution to get away with preverbial 'murder'


Combine this with the eminent domain and bankruptcy laws

and our business leaders and govt officials can relly take a big crap on the average american and theres little w can do about it.


What sickens me the most about this is that; now we cant even hold these two institution's illegal activities,accountable. The noose is tightening on old lady liberty for the common man yet again!


I think Tone has this right. the eminet domain and bankruptsy and it just shows more to the point on how of the people by the people for the people is something no one seems to want any more.



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 05:14 AM
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It's almost a game or a joke at this point. We have legislation in place by the proper authority who we elected, that then gets shot down in the courts by people who are appointed. I wonder how much of Congress even realizes this.

Are they too busy to notice or are they sitting there knowing it's all just futile, or worse, just part of a game they are playing too?

I really would still like to analyze the written decision with other members to see what we think, pinpoint where and how they justify what they are doing and then look at some of the other examples of their decisions where we feel they have overstepped their bounds and try to put together a comprehensive package to look at. It's the only way I see that this trend that most people miss can be properly disseminated to the public. I'm no lawyer but I do have have some legislation experience and am pretty good at reading these things, but if we have any ATS members with actual law degrees it would be great to get their input (if anyone wants to admit they are an attorney
.

I thought it would be easy to just go to their site and pull it up, but quite frankly their site is a maze and their search function isn't hitting for me. Maybe someone else would have better luck, or maybe as Grim pointed out it hasn't hit yet. wonder what their time frame is for posting decisions.



posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 02:48 PM
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Originally posted by Relentless

Originally posted by donwhite
The Dems tried to block Roberts and Alito but the public would have nothing to do with it. Enjoy, these guys will be around for decades.


Okay - everyone needs to WAKE UP NOW! This is not a Republican thing. It has been going on for decades and both sides are equally cupable.

If it were just a Republican thing it wouldn't be so frightening, it would be a recent problem not a culmination of years of trends.


Actually, if you look at the split decision of the Court and who was in the majority it does indeed appear to be a Republican decision which certainly favors the current administration and its policies of secrecy. You can review additional detail about the decision here.

politics.abovetopsecret.com...

BTW, I am an attorney and proud of it. We are all that protects you from the powers that be. Why do you think they slander us so? And yet you blithely join in with your insipid smiley face. Ignorance is rampant.

Check out the opinion and then look at the dissenting opinions to understand how far removed from precedent this new opinion is and how damaging it is.




[edit on 2-6-2006 by seattlelaw]

[edit on 2-6-2006 by seattlelaw]



posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 04:47 PM
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Hi Seattlelaw & thanks for the link.

Glad my lil taunt brought you out.


It's good to have an attorney's input on a thread like this. Hope you didn't take it too personal, I actually am glad you showed up.


Edit: But my reference to the Republican/Democrat thing was not in reference to this decision alone. I meant that it doesn't matter which side is in power for this decision since the trend of justices legislating has been going on no matter who is pulling the strings, and this is the crux of the problem.

[edit on 6/2/2006 by Relentless]



posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 05:19 PM
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Relentless, no worries.

I try not to knee jerk react to lawyer-bashing. But it's been a successful tactic of the right to bash trial lawyers (who represent the little guys - people - against the big guys - corps and govt.) in an effort to sway public opinion and potential jurors against plaintiffs. The ease with which someone as liberal-minded as yourself slides into that kind of humor shows they've made headway with their propaganda against plaintiffs and those who represent them.

I still disagree with your conclusion that this case and the result is not a 'left' or 'right' thing. On this issue I believe it is and the split court conveys that notion as well. I believe that, generally, the dem's recognize that inside govt. whistleblowers provide a necessary check on those in power who would abuse that power.

I believe that democrats (and some Repub's) believe that discouraging or preventing whistleblowers from having a safe forum in which to blow their whistles promotes a closed government which is less responsive to the people and therefore less democratic. Also, the risk is the abandonment or selective encforcement of the rule of law, which is the road to totalitarianism.

And that blows.



posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 10:23 PM
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When were whistleblowers ever protected? Except perhaps in the minds of some naive leglislators.




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