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Conductor's Quran burning a constitutional right
One News Now ^ | September 17, 2010 | Charlie Butts

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 ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: politicallycorrect
There's a photo of Derek Fenster being led off in handcuffs!
1 posted on 09/17/2010 8:13:34 AM PDT by IbJensen
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To: IbJensen

Are NJ Transit workers unionized? If so, why isn’t the union defending this guy?


2 posted on 09/17/2010 8:16:03 AM PDT by GreenHornet
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To: IbJensen

Do you think he would have been fired had he burned an American flag?

Rhetorical question, of course.


3 posted on 09/17/2010 8:17:57 AM PDT by freespirited
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To: IbJensen

Would he have been fired had he burned pages from the Bible?????


4 posted on 09/17/2010 8:20:34 AM PDT by mom-7
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To: IbJensen
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.

He probably has a pretty good case given that.

5 posted on 09/17/2010 8:22:36 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: IbJensen

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.


6 posted on 09/17/2010 8:24:45 AM PDT by Leftism is Mentally Deranged (Annoying liberals is my goal. I will not be silenced.)
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To: IbJensen

Conductor’s Quran burning a constitutional right

YEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS


7 posted on 09/17/2010 8:25:35 AM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: IbJensen

He has a right to burn whatever he wishes.

His employer has a right to fire him.

He is not silenced, he’s unemployed.


8 posted on 09/17/2010 8:27:04 AM PDT by SouthTexas ("Global Climate Disruption" = More bovine excrement)
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To: Non-Sequitur

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.


9 posted on 09/17/2010 8:28:53 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and proud of it. Those who truly support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: xzins
"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."

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.

10 posted on 09/17/2010 8:34:38 AM PDT by DannyTN
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To: SouthTexas

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.


11 posted on 09/17/2010 8:35:45 AM PDT by Psalm 144 (Detente with the GOP - trust, but verify.)
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To: IbJensen

He has the right to burn the Koran, but he does not have the right to keep his job.


12 posted on 09/17/2010 8:37:13 AM PDT by dfwgator (Rangers Magic Number - 8)
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To: Psalm 144; SouthTexas; DannyTN; P-Marlowe; blue-duncan; Kolokotronis

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.


13 posted on 09/17/2010 8:41:40 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and proud of it. Those who truly support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: xzins

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.


14 posted on 09/17/2010 8:45:31 AM PDT by Psalm 144 (Detente with the GOP - trust, but verify.)
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To: SouthTexas
If he were employed by a private entity you would be 100% correct. He was not silenced, he was rendered unemployed.

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.

15 posted on 09/17/2010 8:49:09 AM PDT by allmendream (Income is EARNED not distributed. So how could it be re-distributed?)
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To: dfwgator; SouthTexas
he does not have the right to keep his job.

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.

16 posted on 09/17/2010 8:55:16 AM PDT by Navy Patriot (Sarah and the Conservatives will rock your world.)
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To: dfwgator
He has the right to burn the Koran, but he does not have the right to keep his job.

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.

17 posted on 09/17/2010 9:01:15 AM PDT by MamaTexan (I am ~person~ as created by the Law of Nature, not an 'entity' as created by the laws of man.)
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To: Psalm 144

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.


18 posted on 09/17/2010 9:07:19 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and proud of it. Those who truly support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: IbJensen
Every government on earth seems to either support and agree with Muslims or else they are scared spitless of them.

One or the other.

19 posted on 09/17/2010 9:10:31 AM PDT by F.J. Mitchell (Zero not a Muslim? Obviously then, their most favorite useful idiot..)
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To: SouthTexas

If he was taken off in handcuffs, this is beyond firing.


20 posted on 09/17/2010 9:20:26 AM PDT by bboop (We don't need no stinkin' VAT)
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To: dfwgator

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.


21 posted on 09/17/2010 9:24:06 AM PDT by IbJensen (Our government is a disease masquerading as its own cure.)
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To: Psalm 144; xzins; All

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.


22 posted on 09/17/2010 10:51:41 AM PDT by SouthTexas ("Global Climate Disruption" = More bovine excrement)
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To: IbJensen

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.


23 posted on 09/17/2010 11:56:53 AM PDT by Oldpuppymax
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To: SouthTexas

You’re simply incorrect.


24 posted on 09/17/2010 12:09:53 PM PDT by rbmillerjr
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To: rbmillerjr

this ———> You’re simply incorrect. <——— this


25 posted on 09/17/2010 12:29:58 PM PDT by Psalm 144 (Detente with the GOP - trust, but verify.)
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To: rbmillerjr

we’ll see.

What you and I may believe is right is not how the country works as of late.


26 posted on 09/17/2010 12:36:22 PM PDT by SouthTexas ("Global Climate Disruption" = More bovine excrement)
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To: SouthTexas

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.


27 posted on 09/17/2010 1:22:07 PM PDT by rbmillerjr
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To: xzins; Psalm 144; SouthTexas; DannyTN; P-Marlowe; blue-duncan

“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.


28 posted on 09/17/2010 3:09:22 PM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Kolokotronis
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.

29 posted on 09/17/2010 3:18:22 PM PDT by Publius Valerius
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To: Publius Valerius

Ok; What would I know? :)


30 posted on 09/17/2010 3:36:03 PM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Kolokotronis

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.


31 posted on 09/17/2010 4:50:34 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and proud of it. Those who truly support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: xzins

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.


32 posted on 09/17/2010 6:07:42 PM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: rbmillerjr
It doesn’t matter what we think.

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.

33 posted on 09/17/2010 9:36:22 PM PDT by SouthTexas ("Global Climate Disruption" = More bovine excrement)
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