The Library of Congress missed a chance to right its wrong and reinstate Col. Morris Davis to his post at the Library’s Congressional Research Service (CRS) back in December. Col. Davis, former head prosecutor in the Guantánamo military commissions, was fired from CRS because of opinion pieces he wrote about the military commissions system that ran in the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post on November 11, 2009.
As Col. Davis himself said:
My status as the former chief prosecutor for the military commissions at Guantánamo Bay and my opinions on that subject are completely unrelated to my position at CRS and totally separate from my duties there, and they don’t interfere with my ability to do my job.
Since CRS’s disregard for free speech and due process aren’t going to right themselves, today we filed a lawsuit seeking to reinstate Col. Davis to his position and to reaffirm that government employees, including employees of the Library of Congress, may not be terminated for speaking in their private capacities on matters of great public concern.
Col. Davis has a constitutional right to speak about issues of which he has expert knowledge, and the public has a right to hear from him. Davis, and other public employees, don’t check their free speech rights at the Library of Congress gate.