May 30 2006
The New York Times, Washington Post and other media outlets are going to see a serious cutback in leaks coming from government sources on the news coming out of the US Supreme Court:
The Supreme Court today narrowed the First Amendment protections for public employees who reveal perceived wrongdoing they happen to observe in the course of doing their jobs.
The decision enhances the ability of governments at all levels to punish employees for speaking out, shielding officials in many instances from lawsuits for violating the right to free speech.
Kennedy distinguished between an employee speaking out in his role as a citizen on matters of public interest, which may be protected by the First Amendment, from an employee who speaks out “pursuant to official duties.”
That means the inidividual cannot take the law into their own hands, cannot circumvent the democratic process with personal or partisan views, and cannot risk our lives simply because they have a different opinion than the overarching government (which is elected to enact the people’s will).
Hopefully, this law will apply to Congress as well.Â Serves them right since they leak more than anyone else.Â The can change policy on the House and Senate floor.Â That was what they were elected to do.Â They should never try to change policies by illegally leaking information to the news media.Â They have voices, the simply need to use them.