An article titled Supreme Court will review whistleblower complaint reports that the Supreme Court will review a Federal Circuit decision holding that former air marshal Robert MacLean engaged in protected whistleblowing under the Whistleblower Protection Act when he disclosed to the media that the TSA was planning to remove air marshals from long-distance flights due to budgetary constraints. The article quotes Jason Zuckerman about the potential implications of the decision:
Attorney Jason Zuckerman said the case raises the specter of expanding that exception. “A lot of recent surveys have shown that there are still a lot of employees who are very reluctant to blow the whistle,” he said. “Were the court to create a large loophole to the act, that would likely deter others from blowing the whistle.”
Such a ruling, Zuckerman added, would entice agencies to draft employee rules that prohibit disclosures.
“It could also possibly encourage agencies to use secrecy regulations to prevent employees from blowing the whistle to the media,” he said.