The Fight Over Freedom Of Speech in Alabama…
The firing of an Administrator of a juvenile rehabilitation program in Alabama, will soon go before the Supreme Court.
Edward Lane was fired because he testified truthfully that when he conducted an audit, he discovered that the program’s highest-paid employee, a state representative named Suzanne Schmitz, did no actual work. The program was run out of Central Alabama Community College and received substantial federal funds. Lane fired representative Schmitz.
When Schmitz was charged, Lane testified truthfully in her trial and she went to prison.
Lane got fired. Lane then filed suit claiming he was fired because of the information he provided.
Lane case was dismissed by the federal district or trial court and the intermediate federal appeal court ruled that Lane had no protected “right to free speech” because he learned of the thievery while he was a public employee.
Lane’s cause is now before the US Supreme Court, the court that has taken the reigns off billionaires and corporations and provided them with unlimited “Free Speech” rights.
The Supreme Court will decide if a public employee has the right to testify truthfully in a Federal Court room, during a federal prosecution for the stealing of federal funds and not be fired for doing so.
If the court rules that Lane isn’t protected by the first amendment because he was a public employee —
and with this court it MAY happen — it will open the floodgates to corruption in the government and corruption in private businesses.
The court granted free speech rights to corporations in Citizens United. Then they gutted the voting rights act of 1964, apparently deciding there was no more discrimination against any voters in the South.
Now — potentially no protection for “squealing” on fraud and embezzlement by your employers or employees?
Oddly thus far there has been no outcry from the usual sources; i.e, the Republicans, about “activist judges.”