Eroding access to information: Court limits whistleblower suits

Justices, 5-4, Limit Whistleblower Suits – New York Times:

“Official communications have official consequences, creating a need for substantive consistency and clarity. Supervisors must ensure that their employees’ official communications are accurate, demonstrate sound judgment, and promote the employer’s mission,” [Mr. Justice Anthony] Kennedy wrote.

He said government workers “retain the prospect of constitutional protection for their contributions to the civic discourse.” They do not, Kennedy said, have “a right to perform their jobs however they see fit.”

So much for the personal judgment we’d like to see our fellow citizens exercise in their jobs. Keep ’em quiet, not honest. Whistleblowing ends a career in most cases. Does Justice Kennedy, writing for the five-justice majority in this case, really think that speaking out about wrongs committed by government is wrong? Looking at the two sentence quoted by the New York Times above, do you see a contradiction? Supervisors decide what’s accurate and sound, while employees are supposed to toe the line. It’s the very opposite of the best practices that are transforming companies.

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Author: Mitch Ratcliffe

Mitch Ratcliffe is a veteran entrepreneur, journalist and business model hacker. He operates this site, which is a collection of the blogs he's published over the years, as well as an archive of his professional publishing record. As always, this is a work in progress. Such is life.