SCOTUS Victory for Air Marshal Whistle-Blower
After taking up the case last year, the Supreme Court affirmed 7-2 on Wednesday.
The ruling emphasizes that “Congress passed the whistleblower statute precisely because it did not trust agencies to regulate whistleblowers within their ranks.”
“In sum, when Congress used the phrase ‘specifically prohibited by law’ instead of ‘specifically prohibited by law, rule, or regulation,’ it meant to exclude rules and regulations,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority. “We therefore hold that the TSA’s regulations do not qualify as ‘law’ for purposes of Section 2302(b)(8)(A).”
The ruling also finds that Section 114(r)(1) of Title 49 “does not prohibit anything.”
“On the contrary, it authorizes something - it authorizes the under secretary to ‘prescribe regulations,’” Roberts wrote. “Thus, by its terms Section 114(r)(1) did not prohibit the disclosure at issue here.”
More: Courthouse News Service