Patterico's Pontifications

10/15/2013

Thank You For Reporting That Misconduct By Your Department, Officer. Your Reward: Legally Permitted Retaliation

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:58 am



Ken White has an interesting post about the power of law enforcement agencies to discipline employees for reporting misconduct:

NYPD Officer Craig Matthews complained about an illegal quota system for stops and arrests. As anyone familiar with NYPD culture could predict, he experienced retaliation from his superiors for doing so. When he sued, the NYPD hit him with an argument that’s outrageous but very likely legally correct: it’s your job to report misconduct, so the First Amendment doesn’t prohibit us from retaliating against you for doing so.

Wait, what?

Yup. It all goes back to the Garcetti v. Ceballos decision, which I railed against in posts too numerous to link individually, but which you can read here. The upshot: law enforcement can require you to report misconduct — and then, when you do report misconduct, they can legally discipline you for your report . . . precisely because it was part of your job to report it! Because when you fulfill functions of your job, you see, you lose your First Amendment protections.

Ain’t the law great?

GOVERNMENT SLOWDOWN, DAY FIFTEEN

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:37 am



What will we demand of you before we restore nonessential government services?

Defunding ObamaCare!

Um, delay of ObamaCare?

How about this?

  • Repeal a medical device tax everybody hates anyway.
  • The President, the Congress, and the Cabinet must comply with ObamaCare. We’ll stop asking Congressional staffers to be on it too.

That is Republicans’ version of “negotiation.”

Tough as nails, huh?

RELATED PERSONAL STORY: My daughter was reading in her textbook about checks and balances last night, and came across a part describing the Legislature’s power to withhold funding for certain initiatives. She read it to me, because it sounded familiar to her . . . since she had just received a spontaneous lecture from me yesterday morning on the exact same topic.

It works only when the legislature is willing to exercise the power that it has, though.


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