Robert Mac Lean - in Support of MacLean, Members of Congress File Amicus Curiae Brief With The U.S. Court of Appeals F

In Support of MacLean, Members of Congress File Amicus Curiae Brief With The U.S. Court of Appeals F

On March 19, 2012, the Ranking Member of the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Congressman Elijah Cummings (Maryland), Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (New York), and Dennis Kucinich (Ohio) filed a "friend of the court" (amicus curiae).

restore a basic premise for merit systems principles, and to restore the statutory infrastructure necessary for the WPA to be viable – that only Congress through exercising its statutory authority, or the President through appropriate Executive Order, can restrict the public free speech rights of government employees to disclose information protected under the WPA, and Congress must act with specificity. An agency's rules and regulations cannot cancel or otherwise modify the right to public freedom of expression codified in the WPA, whether issued at its own initiative, or through derivative authority from a broad congressional directive to manage its information. This principle was a carefully considered, repeatedly reaffirmed cornerstone premise when whistleblower rights were created in the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978.

. . .

As MacLean demonstrated, making the disclosure to some entities versus others can cany a greater risk that the disclosure may not be protected. Given the current state of the law, a federal employee who is contemplating blowing the whistle on a substantial threat to public safety needs to perform legal research or consult with an attorney to determine how to make a disclosure without losing the protection of the CSRA . But in enacting the CSRA’s whistleblower protection provision, Congress never intended to create obstacles for federal employees to surmount prior to blowing the whistle. Instead, Congress intended to provide robust protection to whistleblowers by seeking to avoid agencies using rules and regulations to impede the disclosure of government wrongdoing.

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