Skip to comments.ACLU gets one right
Posted on 04/24/2011 4:53:29 AM PDT by Scanian
The American Civil Liberties Unions New Jersey affiliate did its historic mission proud last week standing tall for free, if problematic, speech.
The chapter last fall took up the case of Derek Fenton, a New Jersey Transit worker fired for burning pages of the Koran during a September protest against the proposed Ground Zero mosque.
Fenton acted on his own time, with no suggestion whatsoever that he was connected with NJTransit.
He was within his rights, in other words.
The state completely caved on Friday: In a settlement, Fenton will get back his $86,110-a-year job, plus back pay and $25,000 for pain and suffering (whatever that means in this case).
The state also has to pay the ACLUs $25,000 in legal fees.
He never should have been canned.
Plus the usually common-sensical Gov. Chris Christie, never should have said: I knew he was going to be fired, and I had no problem with it.
Burning holy books is wrong.
So is abusing the First Amendment.
As we noted at the time, if the supreme law of the land permits flag burning, it can also allow burning of sacred texts
(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...
Interesting. Our company “code of ethics” say I cannot work on an individuals campaign without first getting permission. Do you imagine I could “cash in” on that one?
NJ Transit is a STATE OWNED enterprise, thus the different rules. A private company can fire you in a heartbeat for that
I would say that they got that one right. While doing so on the job would be problematic, off the clock (and especially on a state payroll), the first amendment still applies.
Chris Christie, hero with many FReepers, had no problem with his being fired. There are a lot of socially conservative things he would have no problems getting rid of just as quickly.
The reason I ask is because Governor Christie has pointed out that NJ Transit employees (as well as cops, firefighters and the entire educational establishment) for being nothing but bloated agencies filled with vastly overpaid employees. Don't get me wrong the governor is correct. The state is full of overstaffed, overpaid, lazy public servants.
Aside from that I am happy he got his job back. He would have never been fired if he had burned a Bible.
Perhaps, but how would you feel if it was a Muslim working for the New Jersey transit who was burning bibles and encouraging Jihad, on his own free time? Should Christie have a problem with firing such a guy? The New Jersey Transit is a state run enterprise, and as someone else pointed out, the rules are different. For what it is worth, on a personal level I'm glad he got his job back and back pay, but it's a double edged sword - how long before groups of Muslim public employees decide to take advantage of this precedence and start demonstrating on their own free time without fear of job loss and with the prospect of winning judgements against anyone who tries to stop them?
Chris is right when beating up on the unions.
He’s WRONG ON:
CAP ‘N TRADE
MUZZIE CONQUEST OF THE WEST—free SPEECH
A lousey presidential choice, IMHO.
“Our company code of ethics say I cannot work on an individuals campaign without first getting permission.”
Mine tried to have me sign something saying I agreed to allow them to confiscate my personal computers if they ever felt the “need.” I refused to sign it and nothing happened.
This Fenton fellow had every right to burn Korans in public if he wants.
However, the state has every right to lay down work rules. And if they say no political or religious protests on the taxpayers’ time, I have zero problem with that either.
You would be right only if he was inconsistent and let the Muzzie do whatever while Koran burner got fired. Since we have no test case on that we can’t know. What we do know is that he supports gun control, doesn’t think people who sneak into our country are doing anything illegal, is perfectly ok with civil unions, supports RINOS over Tea Party candidates, etc., so this is just another example of his progressive street cred.
Why not? Can citizens sign away fundamental constitutional rights? I don't think so.
I suppose you'd have to work on a campaign and be fired for that reason first. Then you can contact the ACLU; they'd be obliged to go to court for you.
You be doing us two favors: you'd knock down a tyrannical company policy (and why would any company adopt such a policy unless they were on the government tit?) and you'd employ the ACLU to some productive end-- what a change that would be.
“Why not? Can citizens sign away fundamental constitutional rights? I don’t think so. “
Three quick examples:
trade /state secrets
When both sides agree not to speak bad about each other
People here are mistaking private companies for state owned ones (Like the Port Authority):
” Does the First Amendment apply to private companies and organizations?
No. The First Amendment applies to the government to protect individuals from government censorship. While the text of the First Amendment says Congress shall make no law
abridging the freedom of speech, it means that no federal, state or local government official can infringe on your free-speech rights. A private company is not a government or state and therefore generally is not subject to the requirements of the First Amendment.”
Yes, the First Amendment does not apply to corporate behemoths. But do we really want them to be able to regulate the political activities of their employees in their spare time? McDonalds cannot fire a black for marching in a civil rights demonstration. Should we allow McDonalds to declare that it won’t hire any Republicans? Any tea partyers? To fire anyone who owns a gun? Some of these corporations have been taken over by leftists who want to deprive us of rights that out forefathers exercised when they worked their own land.
Stopped clock. Twice a day.
Well, I'm not sure these are the same thing political or social expression:
1. Trade and state secrets: the former is treason, the latter is copyright infringement-- a kind of theft.
2. Non-disclosure agreements: mutual contract between parties, unrelated to political or religious expression. It also enters the realm of "intellectual property" dispute, and could be construed as a kind of theft. Not sure about this admittedly.
3. Parties not speaking bad about each other: This is an agreement between the two, and is maintained by mutual interests.
And maybe I'm wrong. But if so, what keeps a company from dictating how employees vote, or what religion they practice? With the job market the way it is, prospective employees would sign their soul away if the company were to stipulate it.
This brings to mind another stipulation employees often agree to: non-compete clauses stipulating that former employers not practice their profession within a community if and when, and regardless the reason, they leave the company. It's one of those gray areas, but it seems its possible to protect the former employer's property without denying another's right to get a job.
There’s quite a bit of difference between burning a book, whether it’s a Bible or Koran, and encouraging jihad. The former may be rude; the latter is advocating murder. I *expect* that there are Muslims working for government who burn Bibles. As long as it’s their property, it’s their right whether it’s in the privacy of their own home, or in a peaceful demonstration likening non-Muslims to pigs. Free speech isn’t free unless it protects ugly speech too.
I see it was worth their wild, 25k, to take the case.