Skip to comments.Conductor's Quran burning a constitutional right
Posted on 09/17/2010 8:13:33 AM PDT by IbJensen
A New Jersey train conductor who burned pages from the Quran outside the planned location of a mosque near ground zero has been fired by the New Jersey Transit, but he is arguing that his First Amendment rights were violated.
Mat Staver, founder and president of Liberty Counsel, believes the action is simply a sign of political correctness gone awry. He recognizes that there are strong feelings nationwide, but he goes on to suggest that America is not the first nation to have to deal with this type of situation.
"There are many places around the world where these giant Muslim Islamic centers are being built as signs of conquest, and it is causing significant controversy all over the globe," the Liberty Counsel founder notes.
But he recognizes there is special sensitivity in the U.S. because of 9/11.
"...He has a constitutional right to be able to do what he did in this case," Staver contends. "The fact that he was fired is an overreaction, and it's a sign of political correctness taking precedent over someone's constitutional rights."
Staver goes on to point out that the man was off duty and was not wearing a uniform when he burned the pages, so his action had no reflection on the New Jersey Transit, especially since he was employed in a nonpolicy-related role.
(Excerpt) Read more at onenewsnow.com ...
Are NJ Transit workers unionized? If so, why isn’t the union defending this guy?
Do you think he would have been fired had he burned an American flag?
Rhetorical question, of course.
Would he have been fired had he burned pages from the Bible?????
He probably has a pretty good case given that.
Did you think there was free speech in the USA? There isn’t and hasn’t been for decades. You lose your job, your income, your reputation for saying things that the establishment doesn’t want you to say.
Conductor’s Quran burning a constitutional right
He has a right to burn whatever he wishes.
His employer has a right to fire him.
He is not silenced, he’s unemployed.
That he was not in uniform, not on his employer’s property, and not on duty says a great deal. Not only that he isn’t even recognizable as a transit employee.
To permit him to be fired for expressing himself on his own time is to make all of us subject to the whim of those with authority over any area of our life.
Had he worked for a private employer, even disregarding civil rights laws, this man would have a case against them for injuring him without just cause.
Agreed. I hope he sues the heck out of the NJ transit and wins.
With government taking over more and more industries. We'll all have to walk a politically correct line before long if this is not challenged.
His employer has a right to fire him.
Not necessarily. Many of these lower level government issued jobs are protected, civil service positions where there must be cause. As an example, a police officer may have a protected civil service job in a city where the assistant district attorneys are employed at will. The attorney can be dismissed for any or no reason, the officer only for cause.
I don’t know the status or statutes in this case, but the conductor may have had a protected job.
He has the right to burn the Koran, but he does not have the right to keep his job.
His employer has no right to fire him.
Even the US military, which has a host of lawyers and a strong reason to control the behavior of its members, recognizes that a military member off duty, careful not to suggest speaking for the mility, and out of uniform has all of the free speech and political rights of any other US citizen.
It’s established law and it’s even a matter of military regulations.
I think NJ transit should be sued.
His employer has no right to fire him.
You are probably right. The exception would be if he is employed at will, which is very hard to conceive in any NJ public sector job.
Yet the Government (of New Jersey) deciding what speech its off duty employees may and may not engage in IS a 1st Amendment issue of freedom of speech.
He can be fired from public employment only in a Constitutionally correct procedure. It is not likely that the circumstances of the Koran burning justified that firing.
Additionally, he is entitled to equal protection under the law, so NJ transit would have to show termination of all other employees involved in similar incidents.
He has a right to keep his job unless his employer can prove just cause for termination. I doubt seriously New Jersey is a right-to-work state, and as a conductor working for a governmental entity, he is more than likely unionized. This gives him layers of protection from unconstitutional acts by his employer.
Firing him for exercising his right to free speech on his own time and his own dime is not 'just cause', it's political persecution.
I hope he hands them their butts on a plate.
Even a private employer can be civilly sued for everything from mistreatment to negligence. Arbitrarily releasing someone because you don’t like that they burned a book on their time off would seem to qualify to me.
One or the other.
If he was taken off in handcuffs, this is beyond firing.
His job has nothing to do with showing his distaste for the mooselimbs! He has a life away from the passenger train business!
How dare they drag him away in handcuffs.
Your comment would indicate that you’re against free speech. If you’ll recall burning flags and such is an expression of FREE SPEECH. Even pornography,as filthy as it is has been construed as free speech.
I disagree. His voice was not silenced, his job was terminated. These are two different things.
As far as the difference between public and private, this would depend of the structure of the transit authority, what they have in their existing employment rules, etc.
Do I think it’s right, no, but there are consequences for your actions. Suffering those is not a squelch of your rights.
Can you imagine anyone being fired for TOO MUCH political correctness? This guy should have an INSTANT WINNER in court, but at usual, it will depend upon who appointed the judge.
You’re simply incorrect.
this ———> Youre simply incorrect. <——— this
What you and I may believe is right is not how the country works as of late.
It doesn’t matter what we think.
It’s an easy case which he will win. There is a link between the act and the firing.
“His employer has no right to fire him.”
Maybe, Padre, maybe not. As a public employee, he might, I say might, be entitled to a due process hearing and a finding of good cause before he can be fired, but at the “conductor” level, I doubt it absent a union contract clause. Even at that, the exercise of a constitutional right may still provide an employer to fire an employee for good cause.
This is speech regarding a matter of public concern and was unrelated to his duties. He can't be fired. It's a First Amendment violation.
Ok; What would I know? :)
Kolo, if they had simply let him go and kept their mouths shut, then I think they could have fired him.
However, they specifically identified a reason, totally separate from his job, for which they chose to fire him.
It seems like he has recourse against them for some kind of abuse.
It likely depends on NJ law, Padre, but as someone said, he may have a right to burn that evil book, but he likely doesn’t have any protected property right in his job.
That's precisely the point. The "deciders", the black robed crowd will tell us. Not necessarily what is right or what is or is not Constitutional.