Air Marshal Whistleblower Case Headed to Supreme Court
February 3, 2014  //  By:   //  News Briefs, US News  //  No Comment

The Federal Government has petitioned the Supreme Court to reverse the Appeals court decision in favor of Robert MacLean, a former air marshal fired in 2006 for leaking information to MSNBC. Mr. MacLean was fired by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) when he leaked to MSNBC that TSA had suspended air marshal service on coast-to-coast and international flights for a full week during a time they had knowledge of a “potential plot” to hijack a U.S. Airliner.

Last year, the Court of Appeals sided with MacLean stating that the whistleblower statute is designed to protect people when they seek to leak information they reasonably believe to be a “violation of any law” or a “substantial and specific danger to public health and safety”. The court agrees MacLean’s fear for the safety of the public due to lax security during a time of a potential hijack  plot was a reasonable belief that is protected under the Whistleblower Protection Act.

However, the U.S. argues that a specific regulation prohibits these types of leaks based on the  danger to National Security. The Court struck down this argument because the Whistleblower Protection Act, a federal statute, has supremacy status over the regulation the U.S. was citing.  The U.S. government hopes to have the case heard by the Supreme Court to overturn the decision and decide once and for all the relationship between a National Security Regulations and the Whistleblower Protection Act.  (VNN – Addison Naugle) (Image: Flickr | Mark Fischer)

About the Author :

Addison Naugle is a licensed Attorney in Arizona with a passion for law and justice. Naugle believes that education and giving back to the community are paramount in the development of one's self and one's community. She has been an animal foster for the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control and served as an the Mentor Coordinator for the Women's Law Association at Arizona Summit Law. In 2012-2013, Naugle served as the Vice President of Outlaw and assisted in fundraising the third largest amount for the AIDS walk in Phoenix. After graduating from Arizona State University with a B.A. in Women and Gender Studies and United States History, Naugle obtained her Juris Doctorate from Arizona Summit Law School. Naugle enjoys reading, researching, ballroom dancing, vacationing and exploring the world with her husband.