Library of Congress Sued for Former Employees Firing

The ACLU has sued the Library of Congress for firing a former chief prosecutor for the Guantanamo military commissions.

Col. Morris Davis (now retired from the military) was fired for criticizing the system in which detainees at Guantanamo are tried while being employed by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service, where he worked as an assistant director in the foreign affairs, defense and trade division.

The Library of Congress, which oversees CRS, said Davis had shown poor judgment and that his criticism “could do serious harm to the trust and confidence Congress reposes in CRS,” according to a letter sent to Davis in November by Daniel Mulhollan, the director of the CRS.

The LOC cited rules that require employees to explicitly disassociate themselves from the LOC when writing or speaking about controversial topics. The letter singled out criticism Davis expressed in two op-eds written in November; here's Davis's Wall Street Journal op-ed and his Washington Post letter to the Editor.

Story from The Hill.


Since he does not refer to the CRS or the LOC in either piece of writing, he has done all he needs to do. This man, nor any government employee, is not required to list their place of work when writing letters to the editor.

If they do mention their place of employment, then they are speaking as a government employee, and their letter needs prior approval from their agency before publication. Thus, as a private citizen, he has a right to express his own opinion. As someone who represents the government or acts as a spokesman for the government, he needs prior approval.

Retaliation for speaking his opinion in the market is unworthy of the Library of Congress.

Since when have government employees lost the right to free speech when speaking for themselves? He only identified himself asa former member of the commission. Their control over him was lost when he left their control.

R. Lee Hadden (These are my own opinions!)

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