U.S. Whistleblowers Should Get Blogs

31 May ’06

I don’t pretend to understand the nuances – and no doubt they are legion – of U.S. constitutional law generally, or of First Amendment law in particular, but the news of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision depriving certain whistleblowers of that amendment’s protection caught my eye, coming as it did so soon after a California state appeals court ruled that a blogger was entitled to protection under that state’s reporter shield law.

The Supremes appear to have decided that speech pursuant to work duties is not protected speech, while speech as a citizen is. The NYT editorial on the decision noted “Bizarrely, the majority would apparently have given Mr. Ceballos more rights if he had held a press conference to denounce his supervisors.” Or had used a blog, I suppose.

Hmmm. Perhaps what whistleblowers need now is their own MySpace ….

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