A lawsuit being heard this month will likely define the free speech rights of federal employees and so determine the quality of people who will make up our government.
On January 8, 2010, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the Library of Congress on behalf of Col. Morris Davis. The former chief prosecutor for the Guantánamo military commissions was fired from his job at the Library’s Congressional Research Service (CRS) because of opinion pieces he wrote about the commissions system that ran in the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. Both pieces were written by Davis in his personal capacity, made clear that he was writing as a private individual and former chief prosecutor of the military commissions and made no mention of CRS. Davis wrote the pieces on his home computer during non-work hours.
The lawsuit charges that CRS violated Davis’s right to free speech and due process when it fired him for speaking as a private citizen about matters having nothing to do with his job there.