Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or of the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.- FIRST AMENDMENT OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTIONThe First Amendment grants many rights, one of these rights is the freedom of speech. It does not say that these freedoms are only granted when not in the workplace, yet the Supreme Court has state that
What does this mean? It means that when an employee expresses himself with what he has found in the workplace, he is not protected under the First Amendment. Can this be true? A freedom of speech except when it is work related?
When public empoyees make statements pursuant to their official duties, the employees are not speaking as citizens for First Amendment purposes, and the Constitution does not insulate their communications from employer discipline.
In a recent case, the public sector has been held as almost untouchable by the ruling of the Supreme Court. As a government worker you can do your job to the best of your ability and still feel repurchusions for your hard work and dedication. Let us note that on the end of the above quote its stated, "does not insulate their communications from employer discipline." In this case, the public employee had done his job; he found an error in the public workplace and sent a note upon the fault. Instead of reprimanding the guilty party for its fault, the public employee was demoted. I will not go into detail upon the Supreme Court case since it can be found else where...
What I will note is where is our Freedom of Speech?
The question James Buchanan, Nobel Prize winner in Economics, asks is, "Who watches the Guards?" If there are government employees who do their duties and watch over the government with good moral constraints, they should be promoted and given bonuses. These are the men that bring success! Yet, by limiting our Freedom of Speech in the workplace, we are reducing the men with good morals in government positions. If we demote the men of high moral constraints, we are left of the workers with low standards allowing the government to do as it wishes because of the fear of job loss. Thus, the government is allowed to bend its own laws without anyone reprimanding them. The laws are written to protect the citizens from citizens. The Constitution and the Amendments were written to protect the citizens from the government.
But what is government itself but the greatest reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.- JAMES MADISON "Federalist Papers"